Are there side effects when you have a vaccine?As with any medication, there is always the risk of side effects and vaccines are no different. However, the risks of side effects are far smaller than the risk of the diseases they prevent. The main side effects children appear to have after a vaccine are fevers, injection site pain, occasional rashes and feeling ‘under-the-weather’, or a bit grumpy. There may be specific side effects associated with particular vaccines, and these will be discussed with individual patients/parents. Can you get autism from vaccines?No There is absolutely no evidence linking vaccines with autism. A huge meta-analysis (a study of 10 large studies involving more than 1.2 million children) demonstrated there is absolutely no link. If you are interested, the study can be found here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X14006367 This position is supported by the UK National Autistic Society: https://bit.ly/2OY5XLz Clinic nurses regularly discuss these issues with parents and completely understand the complex range of opinions available. Our nurses are always willing to talk these issues through and will happily review any information that you have been given. Are vaccines effective?Yes Vaccine efficacy varies according to a range of reasons. Some vaccines provide life-long immunity, whilst some offer protection for a few years before needing a booster. Occasionally vaccines do not work for some individuals, but there are normally good reasons for this and this should not put anyone of having a vaccine in the first instance. Are the vaccines safe?My usual response to this question is ‘I wouldn’t administer anything to a patient that I wouldn’t give my own child’. All the vaccines we use are licenced and supplied by recognised manufacturers. What should I to do before the appointment?There is very little preparation required Clothing Dress the child in clothing that offers either easy access to an arm (if walking) or a leg (if not walking) Information Depending on the age of the child and their temperament, some parents like to explain what is happening whilst some keep explanations to a minimum to avoid and distress. Pain killers We will let you know if you need to provide your child with calpol – this depends on the vaccine. Documentation If you bring your child’s ‘red book’ we will add vaccine information in the relevant section What will happen on the day?Come to reception on the first floor and our friendly receptionist will ask you to provide us with your child’s details. We have a few toys in reception and you may wish to bring one of your child’s favourites from home. When you meet one of our nurses, you will be able to ask them any questions you may have. When you are happy to proceed, we will carry out the vaccination. We would suggest toddlers wear a short-sleeve top. Babies will normally have vaccines administered into their legs, with toddlers and older children having their vaccinations in their arms. Will it be uncomfortable?Sometimes, sometimes not. Nobody likes having an injection, but our staff are incredibly talented and also quick. We find this minimises the discomfort felt. Many, many parents comment on how surprised they are at the pleasantness of the whole process. Should I give my child Calpol before coming inIn nearly all instances, no. If this is required we will let you know when you make your first appointment. What should I do if my child has a side effect to the vaccine?Although vaccines are incredibly safe, occasionally individuals do experience side effects. The most common side effects include injection site soreness, achy limbs and occasionally a fever. Fevers can be managed with paracetamol or ibuprofen - as directed by a medical professional. In the unlikely event that your child has a more serious side effect – let us know. We will then report this anonymously to the manufacturer and medicines regulatory authority.