Any immunization can produce an adverse reaction. Some of the more common reactions include irritability, malaise, low-grade fever, and soreness or irritation at the site of the injection. These discomforts can be treated simply, at home, with the natural remedies outlined in this entry. More rare, but more serious, reactions include allergic reactions, seizures, neurological problems, and "screaming syndrome," persistent screaming that lasts for three or more hours. After your child receives a vaccination, keep a watchful eye out for any possible reaction. If your child develops a fever higher than 102°F, screams inconsolably, goes into shock, has a seizure, or becomes fretful and irritable after an immunization, call your doctor or seek emergency treatment immediately. These symptoms could indicate a dangerous reaction to a vaccine.
After a vaccination, the site of the injection will probably be red and slightly swollen. A warm wash or compress may help relieve the discomfort, but do not rub the area.
If your child experiences pain after an immunization, you can give her acetaminophen (Tylenol or the equivalent).
Note: In excessive doses, this drug can cause liver damage. Read package directions carefully so as not to exceed the proper dosage for your child's age and size.
For age-appropriate dosages of nutritional supplements, see Dosage Guidelines for Herbs and Nutritional Supplements.
Begin giving your child vitamin C with bioflavonoids prior to the administration of any vaccine, to help strengthen her immune system. Give a child two years or older one dose daily for one week before and one week after the vaccine. For a nursing infant, a mother can take 1,500 milligrams of vitamin C with bioflavonoids a day, starting one week before the injection.
Lactobacillus bifidus helps to reestablish healthy flora in the bowel and clear the body of the aftereffects of an immunization. Give your child the bifidus either one hour before or one hour after a meal, following the dosage directions on the product label.
Echinacea can be helpful for a baby who has a relatively minor reaction to an immunization, such as a localized infection, low-grade fever, or mild irritability. These herbs boost the immune system. A breastfeeding mother should take 40 drops, twice daily, for three days after her child has been vaccinated.
Thuja will help prevent a fever or irritability, whether your baby or older child has a noticeable negative reaction after receiving a vaccine or not. If there is a complication, Thuja becomes even more important. Give your child a dose of Thuja 200x immediately after the injection.
Ledum is useful for all puncture-type wounds, and can help alleviate some of the reaction at the injection site. Give your child one dose of Ledum 12x or 6c immediately after the vaccination, and another dose four hours later.