Are some kids more susceptible to side effects than others?

Short Answer

Some children, and even adults, may be more likely to have a negative reaction to a vaccine than others. This is typically due to allergies or sensitivities to one or more ingredients in the vaccine. With that in mind, it is important to discuss any known allergies with your child’s doctor, and ask any questions you may have.


Every vaccine has potential side effects. Typically they are very mild: soreness at the injection site (for a vaccine delivered via a shot), headaches, and low-grade fevers are all examples of common vaccine side effects. Serious side effects are possible, including severe allergic reactions. However, the occurrence of these side effects is extremely rare. In the event that one does occur, doctors and clinic staff are trained to deal with them. Still, it is important to pay extra attention to your child for a few days after vaccination. If you see something that concerns you, call your child’s doctor.

When considering possible side effects from vaccination, it’s important to do so in context. While some possible side effects are serious, they are extremely rare. It’s important to remember that choosing not to vaccinate also has serious risks. Vaccines protect against potentially fatal infectious diseases; avoiding vaccination raises the risk of contracting those diseases and spreading them to others.

Remember, vaccines are continually monitored for safety, and like any medication, vaccines can cause side effects. However, a decision not to immunize a child also involves risk and could put the child and others who come into contact with him or her at risk of contracting a potentially deadly disease.