Vaccinations

Children's flu vaccine side effects

The flu vaccine for children is very safe, but like all vaccines, some children may experience side effects. The side effects linked with the flu nasal spray vaccine are almost always mild and short-lived.

Common side effects of the flu nasal spray vaccine

The nasal spray flu vaccine has very few side effects, the main one being that children may have a slight runny nose for a short time. Other possible side effects include:

  • high temperature
  • headache
  • feeling slightly unwell
  • loss of appetite

Rare side effects of the flu nasal spray vaccine

As with all vaccines, there’s a very small chance of a severe allergic reaction (known medically as anaphylaxis). The overall rate of anaphylaxis after vaccination is around one in 900,000 (so slightly more common than one in a million).

Anaphylaxis is very serious but it can be treated with adrenaline. When it happens, it does so within a few minutes of the vaccination. Staff who give vaccinations have all been trained to spot and deal with anaphylactic reactions and children recover completely with treatment.

What to do if your child has a side effect from the flu nasal spray vaccine

If your child has a runny nose after their flu vaccination, simply wipe their nose with a tissue and then discard it. Remember, catch it, bin it, kill it.

If your child develops a fever after their flu vaccination, keep them cool by:

  • making sure they don't have too many layers of clothes or blankets on
  • giving them cool drinks

You could also give them infant paracetamol or ibuprofen to reduce their fever. Read more about medicines for children.

If you're worried about your child, trust your instincts and speak to your doctor or call NHS 111.

Call the doctor immediately if, at any time, your child:

  • has a temperature of 39 degrees C or above, or
  • has a fit

Read more about vaccine side effects in babies

This NHS leaflet tells you about the common vaccination reactions in babies and young children up to five years of age

How to report a suspected vaccine side effect

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from a vaccine. It's run by a medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and it's a good way to of monitoring a vaccine's safety.

Find out how to report a vaccine side effect.

Page last reviewed: 10/07/2015

Next review due: 10/07/2016

Ratings

How helpful is this page?

Average rating

Based on 93 ratings

All ratings

Add your rating

Vaccine side effects

What to do if you or your family suffers a side effect after a vaccination, and how you can report it

Is vaccination safe?

The safety checks done on vaccines before and after their introduction