Vaccinations Side effects
Vaccines, like medicinal drugs & many natural substances, have the potential to trigger unwanted side effects. Mostly these are of nuisance value, but can be quite common. They can also rarely be associated with more serious allergic reactions. The Travel Doctor consulting doctors only recommend vaccination when the risks from the disease outweigh potential side effects from the vaccine.
Common side effects
Some people faint after injections. This may occur up to 30 minutes later. If you have experienced a faint previously, make sure you let the doctor or nurse know.
2. Sore, red arm
Occasionally vaccinations will cause a sore arm lasting for a few days. The ADT (adult diphtheria & tetanus) may cause a lump or hardness which persists for a few weeks. If your arm is red or painful, place an icepack over the affected area to reduce the swelling. Paracetamol may ease the discomfort. Vaccines given intradermally eg rabies, typhoid or cholera may cause redness & itching at the injection site.
3. Fevers & feeling sick
Some vaccines may cause a general feeling of "unwellness", notably the old injectable typhoid vaccine & the cholera vaccine. Live vaccines such as yellow fever & measles mumps rubella are also more likely to cause "flu like" symptoms. The more purified dead vaccines do not generally cause fevers although the meningococcal vaccine sometimes causes headache & aches & pains in the 48 hours following vaccination. The flu vaccine is not a live vaccine & cannot cause the flu.
The oral typhoid vaccine may cause mild to moderate nausea, stomach cramps, & diarrhoea within 24 hrs of taking each capsule. If symptoms are more severe after the second capsule, the doctor should be notified.
Serious allergic reaction (Anaphylaxis)
Such reactions are extremely rare but can be life threatening. The event may occur minutes, hours, & occasionally days after any vaccination. The following symptoms should raise concern;
* : itching, swelling of the throat
* : coughing, wheezing, tightness of the chest & difficulty breathing
* : dizziness or inability to stand without feeling faint
* : rapidly developing rash over the body
* : swelling or redness of the face
* : in small children - limpness or pallor
If any of the above symptoms occur, you should go directly to the casualty department of your nearest hospital or your nearest well-equipped 24-hour medical centre. If available, take an antihistamine medication such as phenergan whilst seeking help. Contact your Travel Doctor-TMVC provider as soon as possible or get the attending doctor to call. If you are unsure whether to be concerned, contact your Travel Doctor-TMVC clinic as soon as possible for advice.
CAN I DRINK ALCOHOL AFTER VACCINATIONS
There is a common misconception that you should avoid alcohol after receiving vaccines. There is no evidence to support this. It is suggested however that alcohol should be avoided for a few hours after taking the oral typhoid vaccine. If you plan to undertake exercise in the 24 hours after vaccination - do so in moderation.