Most women have no reaction to vaccination. Some have mild reactions that last between 12 and 24 hours and are easily treated at home.
If the symptoms last longer than a couple of days, or if you are worried about how you feel after your vaccination, you can get help from:
- your doctor
- your nearest emergency department
- or by calling Health Direct n 1800 022 222.
The reactions pregnant women have to vaccination are similar to those of adults who are not pregnant. Most have no reaction at all; a small number may experience redness or soreness at the needle injection site, a fever of less than 38.5°C or a headache. These reactions are usually quite mild and will get better on their own within a day or two. If you have a reaction to a vaccine, there are a few things you can do to make yourself more comfortable.
Some women get some redness and soreness at the spot where the needle went in1 (this is called a ‘local reaction’).
- Around three in 100 women who have an influenza vaccination during pregnancy experience a local reaction1.
- Around seven in 100 women who have a whooping cough vaccination during pregnancy experience a local reaction1.
The redness and soreness will get better in a day or two. In the meantime, you can place a cool, damp cloth on the spot to soothe it, and you can take an over-the-counter pain medication, such as paracetamol, if you feel you need one. You should check with your doctor before taking any other pain medications.
Some women experience a headache after vaccination1.
- Around four in 100 women experience a headache after having an influenza vaccination1.
- Around three in 100 women experience a headache after having a whooping cough vaccination1.
The headache will get better by itself, but you can take an over-the-counter pain medication, such as paracetamol, if you feel you need one.
Some women develop a fever of 38.5°C or less1. A high fever (above 39°) is very uncommon.
- Around two in 100 women experience a fever of around 38 degrees or less after having an influenza vaccination1.
- Around two in 100 women experience a fever of around 38 degrees or less after having a whooping cough vaccination1.
If you have a fever after your vaccination, drink plenty of water and consider using some paracetamol to help bring the temperature down.