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Can My Child Get Sick From a Vaccination?

The health and safety of your child is your first priority — and ours. Unfounded fears about vaccines are causing more and more parents to leave their children unprotected, and with them, others who are already vulnerable. Knowing the facts about childhood vaccinations can set your mind at ease about vaccinating your child.

At her pediatric medical practice in Fountain Valley, California, Dr. Smita Tandon routinely inoculates children against preventable diseases. Since so many parents have asked, “Can my child get sick from a vaccination?” Dr. Tandon has put together this special guide to help you understand your child’s vaccine journey.

Vaccine ingredients

Most childhood disease vaccines have been around for years. Their ingredients are sterile and carefully controlled. In vaccines with a “live” virus, the virus has been weakened or attenuated. This means it cannot cause the disease but only help make your child immune to it. 

Some people worry about mercury in vaccines after a myth circulated about the so-called dangers of mercury preservatives. Even though these rumors were proven false, vaccine manufacturers removed the mercury-based ingredient, Thimerosal, anyway.

Vaccine schedules

Sticking to the recommended vaccine schedule is the best way to completely protect your child against disease. Some people have questioned whether or not vaccines should be given in groups and have argued for a more spread out schedule to avoid “immune system shock.” 

The truth is that all vaccines your child should receive over their first 18 years could be given at once, and only one-tenth of one percent of your child’s immune system would be engaged to handle it. Changing their vaccine schedule doesn’t decrease dangers; it increases them, by leaving the child unprotected from preventable illnesses.

Vaccine reactions

You might have read online posts about vaccines making children sick or giving them autism. First, the autism myth was linked to the mercury myth, which has been 100% disproven. The doctor responsible for starting the myth falsified his data, and his medical license has since been revoked. Vaccines don’t cause autism. Second, reactions to a vaccine are typically extremely mild and don’t mean your child is “sick,” just that they are experiencing the response that makes them immune.

The most common reactions to a vaccine are:

These side effects can be hard to watch as a parent. You don’t want your child to be uncomfortable. But they are completely normal. Your child’s antibodies are just reacting to the presence of the vaccine and are making your child immune. Dr. Tandon can recommend ways to keep your child comfortable through the immune response, and it will be over quickly.

While your child may look “sick” after a vaccination for a few hours or even a day or two, they aren’t really ill. Vaccines can’t give your child the disease they are designed to prevent, and severe side effects are very rare (1-2 cases out of 1 million children treated.) 

If you are still worried about your child’s vaccines, or know that your child has a medical condition that could make vaccinating less safe, Dr. Tandon will consult with you and create a plan to protect them. Contact our office at 714-410-1025 or request an appointment online today.

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