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5-in-1 vaccine: side effects

The 5-in-1 vaccine is very safe but, as with all medicines, a few babies will have side effects. In general, side effects are mild and short-lived. Most babies won't have any problems at all.

Common reactions to the 5-in-1

The side effects that are most often reported after the 5-in-1 vaccine - in up to 1 in 10 babies - are:

  • pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
  • fever
  • vomiting
  • abnormal crying
  • irritability
  • loss of appetite

Rare side effects after the 5-in-1 vaccine

Other possible, but much rarer, side effects - less than 1 in 10,000 babies - include:

  • high fever (more than 39.5C)
  • fits or seizures

Allergic reaction to the 5-in-1 vaccine 

Very, very occasionally, a baby will have a severe allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis, after the 5-in-1 vaccine. This happens in less than 1 in 100,000 cases and can happen with any vaccine.

Anaphylaxis is a serious medical condition, but all vaccination staff are trained to deal with anaphylactic reactions on the spot, and babies recover completely with prompt treatment.

What to do if your baby gets a fever

If your child develops a fever after their 5-in-1 vaccination, keep them cool by:

  • making sure they don't have too many layers of clothes or blankets on
  • giving them cool drinks

You could also give them infant paracetamol to reduce their fever. Read more about medicines for children.

Call the doctor immediately if, at any time, your baby's temperature gets higher than 39C.

What to do if your baby has a serious side effect

See your doctor if your baby is very unwell or you're concerned in any way about their health following vaccination.

If your baby has a fit or any serious medical problem once they're home after their vaccination, call your GP or an ambulance immediately.

Seizures, in particular, can look very alarming, but babies usually recover from them quickly.

If you are concerned about how your baby reacted to a previous dose of the 5-in-1 vaccine, talk to your GP, nurse or health visitor.

Read more about vaccine side effects in babies

This NHS leaflet tells you the common vaccination reactions in babies and young children up to five years old (PDF, 118kb).

Read Is vaccination safe? to find out more.

Monitoring safety of the 5-in-1 vaccine

In the UK, the safety of vaccines is monitored through the Yellow Card Scheme by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Commission on Human Medicines.

Most reactions to the 5-in-1 vaccines reported through the Yellow Card Scheme have been minor, such as a rash, fever, vomiting, and redness and swelling at the site of the injection.

Find out how to report a vaccine side effect.

Article provided by NHS Choices

See original on NHS Choices