Fever After Vaccination: Causes & How to Deal with It

Fever After Vaccination in Babies

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Mahesh Patil (Paediatrician)
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Vaccinations can be a tough time for parents, as they often feel helpless watching their baby cry. However, vaccinations help prevent babies from getting life-threatening diseases and are essential. One of the side effects of vaccination is fever. As a parent, you may not know what you should do in such a situation. Let’s find out how a fever after vaccination affects your child.

Video: Fever After Vaccination in Babies – Causes & How to Deal With It

Is Post-Vaccination Fever Normal?

Some babies experience a high temperature after getting a shot, and this is normal. It means that your child’s immune system is responding to the vaccination. Hence, you shouldn’t be worried if your baby is down with a mild fever.

What Causes Fever After Vaccination in Infants?

Vaccination prevents diseases from infecting the body, by preparing the immune system to fight against a potential threat. The material in vaccines is made up of organisms (viruses/bacteria) causing an infection against which protection is required or expected. These organism’s ability to cause illness in the recipient is toned down. When the vaccine enters in the body, it activates immunity cells in the body, which in response to invasion by the organisms produce inflammatory markers, which, in turn, cause swelling and tenderness at the site of injection and fever in the body. So, fever is an indication of a good immune response of body.

What Are the Red Flags?

A temperature over 99°F is regarded as fever in children and it shouldn’t be ignored. Here are the signs you should look out for:

  • 101°F or higher in babies younger than 3 months
  • 102° F or higher in babies who are between 3- and 6-months-old
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Pain in the stomach, limbs, and ears
  • Difficulty swallowing fluids
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Fever that persists for more than 3 days
  • Drowsiness

Tips to Help Your Baby Deal With This Phase

Even though a fever after vaccination is normal, you would want to ensure your baby feels more comfortable and relaxed. Here’s what you can do:

  • Be There for Her

    There’s nothing more than an infant wants than her parents’ love and care. Just be there for your child. Plan the day such that you get 3 to 4 hours with your child after vaccination.

  • Don’t Layer Clothing on Your Baby

    Clothe your child in light and comfortable clothes. You can also cover with a soft blanket.

  • Give Her Plenty of Fluids

    Fever dehydrates the body, so make sure you give her plenty of fluids to drink.

A mother feeding her baby

  • Keep Your Infant’s Room Well-Ventilated

    Keep the windows open and let the fresh air in. The ideal temperature is 18° Celsius (65° F). You can also use a humidifier.

  • Try OTC Medication

    You can try over-the-counter medication like paracetamol or ibuprofen if your baby is distressed and uncomfortable. Ibuprofen is equally safe and effective in babies less than 6 months and those older than 6 months. Compared to paracetamol, ibuprofen has more side effects in babies less than 6 months. Hence, it is advisable to use paracetamol to treat fever as the first choice and if it is not effective, ibuprofen could also be used alone or in addition to paracetamol.

In most cases, a post-immunisation fever will resolve on its own. However, it’s always better to follow your gut instinct, and contact your paediatrician if you feel something amiss.

Also Read: 

Side-effects of Vaccination in Infants

Painless Vaccination for Babies

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Aarohi Achwal holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and a master’s degree in English Literature. While working as an intern for an English daily, she realised that she likes writing above anything else. The idea of being heard without having to speak appeals to her. She likes to write research-based articles that are informative and relevant. She has written articles on pregnancy, parenting, and relationships. And she would like to continue creating content on health and lifestyle.