Common vaccine side effects
Side effects from vaccinations are typically mild and include mild pain and swelling at the site of the injection.
What are common side effects of vaccines?
The most common side effects of infant, childhood and adult vaccines are mild pain, swelling and redness where the injection was given.
Sometimes a low grade fever will develop, especially with some of the vaccines given in infancy. Less common side effects include headache, feeling tired, muscle aches or joint pain. Sometimes a hard bump can be felt at the injection site and can last for a few weeks. Most side effects are mild and go away on their own in a day or two.
Serious side effects from immunizations are rare.
How can I treat vaccine side effects?
To help with pain or fever:
- apply a cold, wet towel where the needle was given
- drink plenty of fluids
- Take acetaminophen or other medication as recommended by your health care provider. Use the amount as recommended on the package, repeating every 4 to 6 hours when needed. Do not use for any longer than 48 hours.
- Aspirin should not be used in people less than 18 years of age
See a health care provider if you have more serious or unusual side effects.
This item was last modified on June 12, 2015