Common Questions About Immunizations

Here are answers to some common questions about childhood immunizations.

Do these vaccines have any side effects?

We will give you information about what to expect before your child gets a vaccine. Mild fever, soreness, or rash where the shot was given is common. Severe side effects are rare.

What can I use if my child doesn't feel good after getting a vaccine?

You can give your child acetaminophen (Tylenol®) for pain or fever. Follow the directions that come with the medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you're not sure how much to give your child.

Note: Do not give aspirin to a child or youth younger than age 20. Aspirin can cause Reye syndrome, a rare but dangerous disease.

Can my child get vaccinated if he or she is sick?

Yes. Children with mild illnesses such as colds, flu, and ear infections (even with a low fever) should still get their vaccinations as scheduled. All vaccines will be effective and won't make your child sicker.

What if my child is late starting immunizations?

It is never too late to start. Ask your child's doctor about how to get your child's immunizations up to date.

Getting Help

Always call if you have any concerns about your child's health. For life-threatening emergencies, call 911. For other health concerns, call your doctor during office hours. After office hours or on weekends, contact the Consulting Nurse Service.

Clinical review by John Dunn, MD
Kaiser Permanente
Reviewed 03/01/2014