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Children's Vaccines Health Center

The Meningitis Vaccines: What Parents Should Know

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What are the side effects of meningococcal vaccines?

Mild side effects happen in about half those who get the vaccine. They may include redness or pain where the skin was injected. These side effects last no longer than 1 or 2 days.

Serious side effects are rare and can include high fever, weakness, and changes in behavior.

Severe allergic reactions may happen within minutes or hours of having the vaccination. These are signs of an allergic reaction:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Hoarseness or wheezing
  • Hives
  • Paleness
  • Weakness
  • Fast heartbeat or dizziness

If these signs appear, your child should get to a doctor right away, describe the reaction, and report it by filing a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) form. The doctor or health department can help with this.

Guillain-Barre syndrome is a serious nervous system disorder that has shown up in some people who have received MCV4. It is so rare that doctors are not sure that there is a clear link to the vaccine.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Roy Benaroch, MD on September 19, 2014
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