Question from reader:
Hi, I would like to take my boys for pneumococcal vaccination however I wanted to check if there are any side effects with this vaccine? I heard that some children may get a fever and I was wondering how to manage these side effects.
Answer from Dr Ang Ai Tin:
Any medicine, including a vaccine, could possibly cause severe allergic reaction and other health problems. However, the risk of any vaccine causing serious harm or death is extremely small. In studies, most reactions after vaccination with pneumococcal conjugate vaccine were mild.
If your child has any existing conditions or allergy, please inform the doctor in charge of the vaccination. You child’s health booklet should also be brought along for reference. The doctor would be able to make an informed decision on the vaccination then, and advise accordingly.
For the pneumococcal vaccine in particular, some children may experience mild side effects after the vaccination such as headache or slight fever. This is perfectly normal and the attending doctor would be able to provide advice on how to manage those symptoms. Also some children may experience a sore arm at the site of the injection for a couple of days. This should disappear within a few days and is not a cause for worry.
Answered By Dr Ang Ai Tin
About Dr Ang Ai Tin
Dr Ang Ai Tin has been a practicing Consultant Paediatrician and Neonatologist for the last 23 years. She graduated from National University of Singapore in 1981, and earned her Masters in Paediatrics from the same university in 1987. After leaving KKH in 1991, she started her private practice at the Paediatric Centre at Thomson Medical Centre.
She was the Medical Director of Paediatric Centre, a multi-group practice at Thomson Medical Centre with branches at Mt Alvernia Hospital, Bishan Children Clinic, Tiong Bahru Children Clinic, Hougang and Sengkang. She has since relinquished that post. She is now based at Thomson Paediatric Centre at Thomson Medical Centre. Besides Neonatology, the centre has a busy practice in Vaccine, Respiratory, Immunology and Allergy, and Growth and Nutrition.
Dr Ang’s subspecialty is neonatal intensive care, that is, she looks after sick newborn in the ICU. She also holds a diploma in Dermatology (NUS). Her interest includes paediatric dermatology and is laser certified to treat paediatric dermatological conditions.
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