The demonstrated effectiveness and life-saving value of vaccines cannot be overstated. However, side effects do exist. The good news, however, is that even the most common side effects are extremely rare. However, even a mild fever - one of the most common side effects of vaccines - can make a parent very concerned.
So, if your child has a fever after a vaccine, what should you do?
Call your child’s healthcare provider
If you have any medical concern about your child, including a mild fever, you should ask your child's healthcare provider what do to, and should ask them without delay. This post is not medical advice. It is only meant to inform you of what can be done after your child has received appropriate medical care.
Fevers can have differing severities and durations. The most common fever found as a vaccine side effect is a low-grade fever (commonly defined as between about 99.5- and 101.4-degrees Fahrenheit). Often this side effect may occur within the first day after the vaccine administration and will last no more than 1 or 2 days. A higher fever, or one combined with other symptoms or of a longer duration, may be cause for greater concern. This is not a common side effect.
But, if your child develops a fever of any kind, you should contact your child's healthcare provider.
Report the fever
After your child’s healthcare provider has been contacted, however, you can help other parents by reporting that fever. And there is an easy way to do that reporting so that everyone can benefit.
In the 1980s Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. As a result, the CDC and FDA created the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) in 1990. According to the CDC, "VAERS serves as an early warning system to detect possible safety issues with U.S. vaccines by collecting information about adverse events that occur after vaccination."
VAERS allows anyone (doctors nurses, vaccine manufacturers, or any member of the public) to report any adverse reaction whatsoever that occurs after a vaccine. All the reported data is then used to determine if there is a higher risk of certain side effects from certain vaccines.
You can report an adverse event here: https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html
Contact an Attorney
However, VAERS is only for reporting adverse events so that the related agencies can identify any potential public safety issues. If you believe your child has been seriously injured by a vaccine, another program exists to potentially provide you with compensation. That program is called the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). To determine if you are eligible, you should contact an attorney experienced with the VICP, and you should do so as soon as possible, as the VICP has strict time limits.