Vaccinations and the most common side effects in children – GesuenderNet – Guide to health, medicine and diseases

Every vaccine that ends up in your pediatric practice has been thoroughly checked beforehand. The Paul Ehrlich Institute is responsible for the safety of vaccines in Germany and takes its responsibility very seriously. And not only the safety is tested, but also the efficacy.

It is a long way until the STIKO (Standing Vaccination Commission at the Robert Koch Institute) officially recommends a vaccination for your children. Vaccines used by paediatricians today, for example, contain significantly fewer preservatives than 20 years ago.

In the meantime, a lower concentration of pathogens is also necessary in order to achieve reliable protection against the respective infectious disease. Combination vaccines make it possible to additionally minimize the additives. Imagine that the six-fold vaccination would have to be administered with six different syringes. Who would want to impose this on their offspring? Combination vaccinations save your children additional side effects and possible vaccination reactions.

Five facts about vaccinations and their side effects in children

– In our country, vaccines are comprehensively tested for safety and efficacy.

– Combination vaccines make it possible to use significantly fewer carriers and preservatives than with individual vaccinations.

– Slight vaccination reactions are no cause for concern. The immune system works with the weakened or inactivated pathogen. Genuine vaccination complications occur only very rarely.

– Approximately two to 20 percent of the vaccinated children show a slight redness and swelling of the affected area of their body after the injection.

– One to ten percent of parents notice fever, pain, sleeping disorders or gastrointestinal problems in their children after a vaccination.

Vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) as an example of typical vaccination reactions

At an age of 11 to 14 months and 15 to 23 months, your offspring will be vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella if you follow the STIKO vaccination recommendations.

Another possible component in this combination vaccination is chickenpox or varicella. MMR are live vaccines, therefore a possible vaccination reaction usually occurs with a delay of five to 12 days after the actual vaccination. However, many children do not react visibly to the vaccination and feel well. Just wait and see what happens and support your child if the following symptoms occur:

– Pain at the injection site – swelling and reddening of the injection site – rash of the skin (vaccine measles or vaccine bipox) – fever – headache – limb pain – sleep problems – nausea and vomiting – diarrhoea

All these uncomplicated symptoms usually disappear on their own after three days at the latest. Contact your pediatrician if you are worried. Cooling the vaccination site, drinking plenty of paracetamol or ibuprofen if necessary will help the little patient to feel better again quickly.

Vaccinations and their side effects

Like almost everything else in life, vaccination can have undesirable effects in very rare cases. Unfortunately, we are much more impressed by isolated reports of vaccine damage or serious side effects in the media than by the millions of uncomplicatedly vaccinated children who are now safely protected from numerous infectious diseases. For this reason, many parents go to the paediatric practice with a queasy feeling about vaccination. Talk to your pediatrician in peace. He will answer all your questions competently and calm you down.

Possible serious side effects

– Less than one in 10,000 children develops a seizure with or without fever in connection with a vaccination. As a rule, the seizure does not cause permanent damage and is not a sign of epilepsy.

– Pediatricians have occasionally observed a hypotonic-hyporesponsive episode after vaccination. The affected children are unresponsive for a short time and have a very low muscle tone. Permanent consequential damages are not to be expected from such an episode.

– In rare cases, allergic reactions to the vaccine occur.

Your pediatrician has a duty to educate the public

The law obliges doctors in Germany to inform patients and, in the case of minors, their parents comprehensively about the benefits and risks of treatment before vaccination.

The personal discussion with the paediatrician also includes possible vaccination reactions and side effects. You can ask any questions you have about the vaccination, for example, about an alternative vaccination plan if your pediatrician is open to it.

The pediatrician may not vaccinate your child without your consent (verbally or in writing). In Germany, there is only a vaccination recommendation from the state, no compulsory vaccination.

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Christina Cherry
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