The MenB vaccine is offered as part of a suite of vaccinations for babies and infants. It is given to babies at 8 weeks, 16 weeks, and 1 year old. It generally has a very good safety record but as with any vaccination, the MenB vaccine can have side effects. Your pharmacist can help you manage any side effects of the MenB vaccine.
What is the MenB vaccine for?
The MenB vaccine protects against meningococcal infection in babies. Meningococcal infections can be very serious and lead to meningitis and sepsis which can be fatal or cause life-changing issues such as brain damage and limb amputations. The UK is the first country in the world to introduce a MenB vaccine.
What are the side effects of the MenB vaccine?
The most common side effect of the meningococcal Group B vaccination is a high temperature or fever. Often this is because the MenB vaccine is administered alongside other immunizations in the infant and baby protocol.
Paracetamol can be used to reduce the risk of fever and should be given at the same time as the vaccine. The fever will peak around six hours after the vaccination but has usually gone within 48 hours.
The fever shows that the baby’s immune system is responding to the vaccination but parents whose babies do not develop a high temperature or fever should not worry that the vaccine has been ineffective. Babies will respond differently and this doesn’t mean the vaccine hasn’t worked.
There are some other side effects after the MenB vaccine has these include:-
- Decreased appetite
- Tiredness and increased sleepiness
- Crying and irritability
- Diarrhea and vomiting
Older children and adults who receive the MenB vaccine don’t tend to exhibit these symptoms and are more likely to develop redness and soreness at the site of the injection.
Where is the MenB vaccine given?
The MenB vaccine is administered directly into the baby’s thigh. It is one injection only.
The side effects of the MenB vaccine are not serious and pass quickly, usually within 48 hours with the help of infant paracetamol. Serious complications with this vaccine are incredibly rare. Contact Touchwood Pharmacy for more information on the MenB vaccine and for an appointment