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Toddlers Might Have Temporary Fever After Getting Two Shots at Once

Update Date: Jan 08, 2014 10:32 AM EST
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Newborns are incredibly vulnerable to viral or bacterial infections, as well as plenty of other diseases. Due to these risks, newborns and toddlers are recommended to get vaccinated. In a new study, researchers found that children under two-years-old might experience a temporary fever if they get a flu vaccine and a pneumococcal vaccine at the same time.

"While our data suggest that giving children the influenza and pneumococcal vaccines together at the same visit increases the risk of fever, compared with getting only one of the vaccines at the visit, these findings should be viewed in context of the benefit of vaccines to prevent serious illness in young children, as well as the recognized need to increase vaccination rates overall," study first author Dr. Melissa Stockwell, an assistant professor of pediatrics and population and family health at Columbia University, said reported by WebMD.

For this study, the researchers examined 530 children who were between six-months-old and 23-months-old. The researchers monitored the children for one week after they received the vaccines. Some of the toddlers had received both types of vaccines at once whereas the other toddlers were vaccinated with just one. The vaccines were the annual flu shot, which is recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for infants over six-months-old, and pneumococcal vaccines, which are recommended for children under five-years-old.

The researchers reported that around 38 percent of the toddlers who were given both vaccines in one sitting had a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. The fever occurred either during the day or the day after. The researchers found that only 9.5 percent of the children vaccinated with the pneumococcal vaccine had a fever and only 7.5 percent of the children vaccinated only with the flu vaccine did as well. The researchers found that for every 100 children, the combined vaccine group had roughly 20 to 23 more fever cases than the other groups that only received one vaccine. The vaccine group also had 15 more fever cases out of 100 that reached 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit.

"Parents should be made aware that their child might develop a fever following simultaneous influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations, but that the benefits of these vaccines outweigh the risk of fever and, in most cases, the fever will be brief," Stockwell added. "For the small group of children who must avoid fever, these findings provide important information for clinicians and parents,"

The study was published in JAMA Pediatrics.

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