Immunization Shots: Recognizing Adverse Reactions

From the time a baby is born up to about the age of twelve, infants and children periodically receive immunization shots. A variety of diseases and organisms can cause illnesses. For this matter, many physicians stress the importance of regular immunization shots to boost the immune system, and protect children from potentially deadly illnesses.

Although immunization shots serve a worthwhile purpose, and have protected many children, many people doubt their safety. Like other types of medications and drugs, immunization shots may result in adverse reactions. Some reactions are mild and dissipate within a few hours. On rare occasions, immunization shots may cause debilitating reactions. Still, before taking a “no shots” stance, parent must carefully weight both sides of the coin.

Immunization reactions are rare. Nonetheless, parents should be aware of the potential risks, and be able to quickly identify the onset of a reaction. Medical care is not required for common or mild reactions. However, if children begin to show signs of a severe reaction, seek medical help immediately. Common reactions associated with all types of vaccinations include:

� Mild pain or swelling in the infected area
� Low grade or mild fever
� Tiredness
� Headache
� Diarrhea

Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus Vaccination
Severe reaction and serious problems may include:

� Difficulty breathing
� Wheezing
� Hives
� Rapid heartbeat
� Dizziness
� Extreme weakness

Polio Vaccination
Severe reaction and serious problems may include:

� Hives
� Breathing problems
� Shock (body feels cold, sweaty, or clammy)

Measles, Mumps, Rubella Vaccination
Severe reaction and serious problems may include:

� High fever
� Seizures
� Extreme dizziness
� Brain damage, deafness, and coma (Rare)

Chickenpox Vaccination
Severe reactions and serious problems may include:

� Seizures
� Pneumonia (Rare)
� High fever

Hepatitis B Vaccination
Severe reactions and serious problems may include:

� Anaphylaxis (swelling of throat)
� Difficulty breathing
� Behavior changes
� Dizziness
� Severe headache
� Paleness
� Rapid heartbeat and fatigue

Influenza Vaccination
Severe reactions and serious problems may include:

� Difficulty breathing
� Low blood pressure

*Influenza vaccination should not be given to persons allergic to eggs.

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