Like most medicines, vaccines can sometimes cause reactions. These are usually mild, and not everyone will get them.
Mild reactions are normal and shows that your immune system is responding to the vaccine.
Reactions normally happen in the first few days after getting vaccinated. The vaccine itself is gone from your body within a few hours or days.
The most common reaction to meningococcal immunisation includes:
- a slight fever
- pain or swelling where the needle went in
- crying, being upset, and hard to settle (in babies and toddlers)
- feeling sick (nausea)
- aches and pains
Advice for children under 2 years old
The meningococcal B vaccine can cause quite high fevers – particularly for tamariki under 2 years.
Before the vaccination
If possible give your tamariki paracetamol just before the vaccination appointment time. Check the instructions on the paracetamol label to find out how much to give your child.
If you forget or do not have any – do not worry, your vaccinator can give some when you arrive at the appointment.
If you have questions before your appointment talk to your doctor or trusted healthcare professional.
After the vaccination
After the first dose of paracetamol, a further 2 doses of paracetamol are recommended. A 6 hour gap should be left between doses.
This will help reduce the chance of your baby developing a fever after their vaccine.
It’s important to give the exact amount recommended by the vaccinator and at the appropriate times.
Your vaccinator will ask if you have enough paracetamol at home – if not, they can provide you with a prescription, or a small supply of paracetamol.
Serious allergic reactions are extremely rare. Only about 1 in 1 million people will experience this.
Your vaccinator is well-trained and knows what to look for and can treat an allergic reaction quickly if it happens.
Serious allergic reactions normally happen within the first few minutes of vaccination. This is why your tamariki need to wait for up to 20 minutes after immunisation.
Find more information about common side effects, what to look for and how to report side effects.
Vaccine side effects, reactions and safety