Advanced Pediatrics

100 East Street SE, Suite 301

Vienna, VA 22180
(P) 703.938.5555

(F) 703.319.8580

Care After Vaccines

Immunizations are very important to keep children healthy. Please review the Vaccine Information Sheets for possible side effects that your child might have after immunizations. Here, we offer guidance on how to manage mild, common side effects from vaccinations. Please feel free to call the clinic if you have concerns about a possible vaccine reaction.

Common Vaccine Side Effects


If your child has pain, fussiness or a temperature above 100.4ºF, you could:

 Give your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen (if over 6 months of age).  Be sure to follow the directions on the package for the amount to give your child based on age and weight. Dosing recommendations are also available here.

  Encourage your child to drink fluids (formula or breast milk if under 6-9 months, water if older).

  Dress your child in lightweight comfortable clothes.

  Give your child a bath in room temperature water.


Be sure to give your child extra hugs and comfort today.  You may want to give pain relievers (acetaminophen or ibuprofen if over 6 months) for comfort. Refer here for dosing recommendations. Encourage your child to drink and eat as usual.

Swollen, Warm or Red Injection Site

You may notice some soreness and swelling at the injection site.  It may feel like a knot at the spot where the shot was given.  Things you can do to decrease the soreness include:

  Place a cool, clean washcloth over the sore area.

  Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen (if over 6 months) for pain.

  Do not rub the area as this may increase the pain or swelling.

 Encourage movement of the arm or leg that is sore.


Your child may break out in a rash 10-20 days after the MMR or Chickenpox (Varicella) vaccines. The MMR rash is not contagious, and it doesn't hurt or itch.  It will go away on its own.  The chickenpox is usually itchy and can occasionally be contagious.  If the rash is at the injection site, cover it with a band-aid. This will help prevent spread of the chickenppox.  Try to keep your child away from anyone with a compromised immune system (such as cancer, HIV or on steroids or other medicines that affect the immune system).  

When Should I Seek Medical Care?

Although rare, your child should be seen by a physician again if the child has:

  Fever greater than 104ºF (40.5ºC),

  Fever lasts more than 48 hours,

  Paleness, becomes limp or hard to wake,

  Cries for more than 3 hours straight or has a strange (high pitched) cry, or 

  A seizure (body shakes, twitch or jerks).