Vaccination and fever

What about fever and vaccines?

Before vaccination

Although a mild infection or even an elevation in temperature is not a contraindication to vaccination, professional sources state that it is recommended a child should be free from fever and healthy for at least one week before a vaccination. If there are people with infectious diseases in the child’s surroundings and an infection might be lurking in him as well, it is best to wait a couple of days for the situation to clear up.

 

After the vaccination

In approximately half of all cases, children respond to vaccines with an elevated temperature or fever. This is a natural reaction indicating that the child is producing antibodies against the pathogens that are included in the vaccine.

According to some scientific studies it seems to be more immunologically beneficial if we do not routinely administer antipyretic or analgesic drugs. Anti-fever and anti-pain agents reduce the production of immunological antibodies. Thus, the immune response that the vaccine wishes to achieve is reduced (138,139,140,141,151). Other studies contradict this somewhat (142,143).

The results also depend on the vaccine used, the age of the children being vaccinated, how many times the children have been previously vaccinated, when antipyretic drugs are used in relation to vaccine administration, and which antipyretic medications were given.

 

Summary

Do not routinely administer antipyretic and analgesic agents either before or after vaccination.

In the case of very high fever and swelling or redness (local inflammation) at the injection site, analgesic agents may be considered (140,144)

If this happens, please consult with your physician.

 

You can find the corresponding numbered references here: References

Version update 29 November 2020