Vaccines work by stimulating a child’s immunity to produce antibodies against certain infectious diseases, so she can fight them if she comes into contact with them, explains Dr Flordeliza Yong, deputy director of School Health Service at Health Promotion Board.
In Singapore, vaccines are assessed to be safe for use by the Health Sciences Authority.
Minor side effects, such as a low-grade fever and soreness at the injection site, are possible reactions to some shots. But serious allergic reactions, such breathing difficulty, wheezing, hives, a fast heartbeat or dizziness, are “extremely rare”, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
In fact, your child is more likely to be seriously injured by a vaccine-preventable disease such as polio, which can cause paralysis, than by a vaccine, the WHO says.
After your child’s injection, remain in the clinic’s waiting area for 15 minutes so that she can be observed for any abnormal post-vaccination reactions, says Dr Predeebha Kannan, deputy director of Primary Care Academy at National Healthcare Group Polyclinics.
Most clinics provide fever medication – to be used when necessary – and post-vaccine advice to parents. See a doctor immediately if your child’s fever persists after 24 hours or if she experiences continuous crying, fits or other serious reactions mentioned above.