Fever, headache, swelling or redness at the site are the most common side effects after taking a vaccine, be it the flu, COVID-19 or any other that is part of the vaccination schedule.
Usually, the effects appear within 48 hours after vaccination and are more common in children, and can make them more irritated, restless and tearful due to discomfort.
In most cases, the symptoms are not serious and last between 3 to 7 days, with just some care at home and without having to go back to the doctor. However, if the reaction continues to get worse or if there is a lot of discomfort, an evaluation should always be carried out at a health center or hospital.
The most common side effects can be relieved as follows:
1. Redness, swelling and pain at the site
After applying the vaccine, the arm or leg region may become red, swollen and hard, causing pain when moving or touching. These symptoms are common and generally not a cause for concern, even if they cause some discomfort and limit movement for a few days.
What to do: it is indicated to apply ice to the vaccine site for 15 minutes, 3 times a day until the symptoms disappear. The ice should be covered with a diaper or cotton cloth so that contact is not directly with the skin.
2. Fever or headache
After the application of the vaccine, low fever may occur for 2 or 3 days. Furthermore, in these cases it is also common to develop a headache, especially on the day the vaccine was administered.
What to do: you can take antipyretics and painkillers prescribed by the doctor, such as paracetamol, which helps to relieve fever and pain. These remedies can be prescribed in the form of syrup, drops, suppository or tablets, and the recommended doses should be indicated by the pediatrician or general practitioner.
3. General malaise and tiredness
After the application of a vaccine, it is normal to feel malaise, tired and sleepy, and gastrointestinal changes such as nausea, diarrhea or lack of appetite are also common.
In the case of babies or children, these symptoms can be manifested through constant crying, irritability and unwillingness to play, and the baby may also become sleepy and without appetite.
What to do: it is advisable to eat light foods throughout the day, such as vegetable soup or cooked fruit, for example, always drinking plenty of water to ensure hydration. In the case of the baby, one must choose to give small amounts of milk or porridge to avoid the indisposition. Sleep also helps you recover more quickly, so it is recommended to rest a lot for 3 days after taking the vaccine.
when to go to the doctor
When the fever lasts for more than 3 days or when the pain and redness at the site does not go away after about a week, it is recommended to consult a doctor, as there may be other causes for the manifested symptoms, which may need adequate treatment.
In addition, when the child is not able to eat well after 3 days, it is also recommended to consult the pediatrician, who will assess the reasons for the lack of appetite.
In more severe cases, side effects caused by the vaccine may include difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, severe itching or a lump in the throat, and prompt medical assistance is warranted. These symptoms are often caused by a severe allergy to one of the vaccine components.
Is it safe to vaccinate during COVID-19?
Vaccination is important at all times in life and, therefore, should not be interrupted during times of crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The health services are prepared to carry out the vaccination safely, both for the person who will receive the vaccination and for the professional. Non-vaccination can lead to new epidemics of vaccine-preventable diseases.
To ensure everyone’s safety, all sanitary rules are being complied with to protect those who travel to SUS health posts for vaccination.