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Old 02-09-2014, 08:01 PM   #1
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Vaccine Reactions?? Questions from a clueless Mom...

We are a non vaxing family, and always have been, hence the "I have no idea what "normal vaccine reactions" are question here...

Long story short, my 3 yo ended up with a puncture wound to the back of the head requiring 2 staples yesterday. He has never had a tetanus shot, and given the nature of the injury a tetanus shot was highly recommended.

I declined the DTaP (which is all the ER carried for his age/weight), but made some phone calls and located another hospital that had the DT (pediatric tetanus/diptheria).. apparently just tetanus isn't available for young kids.

Anyways, this whole ordeal occurred while he was at his Dad's for the weekend, and I just got him back tonight. I got him home and realized that he wasn't right.. Sure enough, he's running a fever of 103 and was lethargic and just "off"... the wound looks okay, nurse direct was no help at all.. the nurse yesterday that administered the shot was useless... I asked what to watch for as far as vaccine reactions and her response was "There are none."

So, long story short.. is a 103 temp "normal"? Is the lethargy/not acting like himself stuff "normal"? I'm worried, I'm doubting my decision to give him the vaccine.. Please help ease my fears... Thanks!

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Old 02-09-2014, 08:04 PM   #2
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Re: Vaccine Reactions?? Questions from a clueless Mom...

The CDC says its a mild-moderate reaction. I'd still worry about it being an infection from the wound though. I'd say if he still is feverish tomorrow to go ahead and call his ped.
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:09 PM   #3
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Re: Vaccine Reactions?? Questions from a clueless Mom...

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The CDC says its a mild-moderate reaction. I'd still worry about it being an infection from the wound though. I'd say if he still is feverish tomorrow to go ahead and call his ped.
Yep, if he's still got the fever tomorrow.. I'm taking him in.

How long to fevers related to vaccines typically last? Is it just a 24 hr thing?
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:21 PM   #4
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Re: Vaccine Reactions?? Questions from a clueless Mom...

I am not a vaccinating person either BUT when I was pregnant and had a bad burn from a rusty tire wheel I got it I had not side affects, other then stiffness.

With a fever THAT high I would be worried about an infection.. Hopefully its just the flu and a string of bad luck! If you think it is infected I would bring him to the ER, since that can easily travel to his heart.
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:23 PM   #5
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Re: Vaccine Reactions?? Questions from a clueless Mom...

That's normal for the tetanus shot. Give Tylenol or Motrin for comfort, but it should run it's course within another 48 hours.

Of course, if his injury looks worse, take him to the ER. A temp of 103 is not concerning at all, though.
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:25 PM   #6
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Re: Vaccine Reactions?? Questions from a clueless Mom...

If he's still acting odd tomorrow, i'd worry that it was something from the cut. I hope it's just a reaction from the shot though. But, better safe than sorry.
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:30 PM   #7
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Re: Vaccine Reactions?? Questions from a clueless Mom...

Did he get antibiotics for the wound?
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:35 PM   #8
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Re: Vaccine Reactions?? Questions from a clueless Mom...

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Did he get antibiotics for the wound?
No, they just told us to apply neosporin.. I'll see how he is in the morning.. if he's still "off", I'm taking him in.
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:40 PM   #9
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Re: Vaccine Reactions?? Questions from a clueless Mom...

Did he get TIG? While a tetanus vaccine, post injury, is standard, he really needs Tetanus Immune Globulin as well because it will take his body longer to build immunity from the vaccine than the incubation period for tetanus.

A fever of 103 isn't all that high and is not uncommon after a tetanus vaccine. I agree with others though and there are many things (including infection) that could be causing a fever. It should run its course in a couple of days if it is vaccine related. But, I would probably call your PCP tomorrow.
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:42 PM   #10
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Re: Vaccine Reactions?? Questions from a clueless Mom...

No.. I was told DTaP or DT was our only options. I questioned the nurse, saying I thought there was a different form of tetanus shot they used in emergency situations and she told me no. Unfortunately I couldn't remember the name (tetanus immune globulin)...
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