Vaccine Side Effects

Are there side effects?

You’ve heard stories. You’ve worried about doing anything that might cause your little one to get sick. Are vaccines safe? Are there side effects?

We’re here to provide answers in the form of facts. Let’s start with the chickenpox (varicella) vaccine.

In 2008, a CDC-FDA report looked at data on patients who reported side effects after getting chickenpox vaccine during May 1995 through December 2005. Out of the 50 million doses of vaccine distributed during this 10-year period, most people had no or very mild side effects including rash and soreness.

Fact: Serious side effects linked to the vaccine are extremely rare.

In fact, before the FDA approved the chickenpox vaccine, several earlier studies verified its safety. In children 12 months through 12 years old:

  • 1 in 5 children had mild side effects, such as soreness, swelling, and redness where the shot was given within 3 days of getting the first dose compared with 1 in 4 children after the second dose
  • 7 in 100 children had fever after the first dose compared with 4 in 100 children after the second dose
  • 3 in 100 children had a chickenpox-like rash after the first dose compared with 1 in 100 children after the second dose

What about measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines? While there can be side effects such as febrile seizures caused by fever (which are scary yet harmless), this happens in about 1 in nearly 4000 children making it very rare and not associated with any long-term side effects.

Most common vaccine side effects are mild and include redness and swelling where the shot was given, or a low-grade fever. These side effects go away within a few days. Serious or long-lasting side effects, such as an allergic reaction, are very rare.

The autism connection?

Some parents worry that vaccines cause autism. Vaccine safety experts, including experts at CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), have concluded that the rubella vaccine, often cited as an autism cause, is not responsible for increases in the number of children with autism. Why does the myth persist? Because signs of autism usually start to show around the same time that children are recommended to receive the rubella vaccine. You can learn more by clicking here.

Get more Vax Facts here.