Child Immunization: 7 Key Tips You Must Never Forget

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Health workers fill a form called AEFI, where reactions after immunization are recorded and sent to the appropriate organization. Do you know what these reactions are?

In the clinic or hospital setting, most parents are barely informed about vaccines that are administered to their kids including their side effects.

This can be due to the overwhelming number of children to receive vaccines, hence health workers may be hesitant to give individual health talks in order to hasten adminstration.

It could also happen as a result of parents/caregivers missing out on health talks given earlier in the day when they arrive late to the centre.

Vaccines are a form of therapy that strengthens the immune system to fight against diseases. They have side effects like any other medication.

Learn more about the effects that are likely to be seen after vaccination and essential tips to consider whenever you go for an immunization session.

What is Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI)?

This refers to any untoward medical occurrence which follows immunization and which does not necessarily have a causal relationship with the usage of the vaccine.

What are the types of AEFIs?


They include;

  1. Non-serious AEFI
    This type of AEFI is a reaction that is not serious.
    vaccine induced reactions are transient, most frequently being mild fever above 38°C, soreness and pain at injection site.
  2. Serious AEFI
    This results in hospitalization or prolonging of existing hospitalization e.g. seizure.
    It also results in persistent or significant disability e.g. paralysis.
    It is life threatening, can cause congenital abnormalities, birth defect and death.

Types of Reactions to Vaccines

Non-serious include;

  1. Redness, pain, swelling or hardness at site of injection.
  2. Fever
  3. Headache
  4. Itching
  5. Rashes
  6. Nausea
  7. Vomiting
  8. Diarrhoea
  9. Irritability and persistent cry
  10. Loss of appetite

The Serious reaction are;

  1. Convulsion
  2. Syncope (Fainting)
  3. Dizziness/Anaphylaxis

Serious reactions due to vaccination is extremely rare.

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7 Key Tips for Parents/Caregiver Regarding Immunization

As a parent/caregiver irrespective of gender, you should be able to;

  1. Know the following about the vaccine about to be administered to your child:
    a. Name of the vaccine
    b. Site of administration
    c. Mode of action
    d. Next appointment ( where necessary)
    e. Side effect of the vaccine
  2. Come with the immunization card every immunization day for proper documentation of vaccines and next appointment.
  3. Ensure the immunization cards are kept from oil stains and water, it was be kept intact and dry.
  4. When your child is immunized, check if the health worker indicated the date it was given beside the vaccine on the immunization card.
  5. If the place of vaccination is a mobile clinic or your child was immunized in a campaign programme, ensure to ask about the venue of next appointment.
  6. After immunization, if there is any bleeding, you will be given a cotton wool by the health provider to press the site. Do not rub.
  7. Parents and caregivers are to wait at least 10minutes to ensure there is no reaction after vaccination. Do not be in a hurry to leave.

Immunization is very important and necessary for children in order to prevent them from killer diseases.


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