Risks & Side Effects of Vaccination

Most treatments and medications have an element of risk involved, and in most cases these are circumvented by applying said treatments the right way and in the right conditions. Vaccinations are performed with the utmost care and are rigorously tested to ensure that they are safe and effective. However there are still risks to vaccination that can be a concern to some people. In this article we look at these risks and their chances of occurring.

The side effects of vaccinations?

If they do occur, then the side effects of vaccines are very mild. The most common side effect is usually around the site of injection (if the vaccination has been injected), and is a redness and swelling around the puncture which usually disappears after a few days. Children and babies can become slightly unwell with a mild fever and irritability, but this is common, harmless, and will disappear within a couple of days. While you don’t have to worry about these side effects, you do have the option of talking to your doctor or nurse about any of your concerns.

These side effects are actually a sign of the vaccine taking effect. Vaccinations work by getting your body’s defences to work against parts or a version of a disease causing bacteria or virus, and symptoms like redness or a mild fever are part of your body’s reaction to the invading agent.

It is very rare for a person to suffer from an allergy to the vaccination itself, but this can potentially happen. In most cases this reaction will present as a mild itching or irritation, but in others it can be a severe anaphylactic reaction which causes respiratory problems. Fortunately the chances of an anaphylactic reaction to a vaccination is extremely small, but if it does happen the doctor or nurse giving you the injection will know exactly what to do to counteract the reaction.

There is a concern that certain types of vaccination, known as live vaccines, pay pose a health risk. Live vaccines are also referred to as attenuated vaccines and are essentially weakened versions of the original virus or bacteria that causes a disease. The worry is that some viruses or bacteria can potentially undergo a mutation (change in their genetic material) that makes them dangerous again. Fortunately however the chances of this happening are extremely minute.

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