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Hib/MenC vaccine side effects

As with all vaccines, a few babies will have side effects after the Hib/MenC vaccine, though in general these are mild and short-lived.

The vast majority of babies will not have any problems at all.

Very common reactions to the Hib/MenC vaccine 

These side effects are common, but also tend to be very mild and temporary.

More than 1 child in 10 having the Hib/MenC vaccine have:

  • pain, redness or swelling at the site of the injection
  • a high temperature
  • irritability
  • loss of appetite
  • sleepiness

Less common reactions to the Hib/MenC vaccine

Less common side effects are also generally mild and short-lived:

Rare reactions to the Hib/MenC vaccine

A skin rash is a rare side effect of the hib/MenC vaccine. If this happens, contact a doctor straight away.

Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) can also happen with the Hib/MenC vaccine, but they're extremely rare.

If a severe allergic reaction happens, it'll be within minutes of the baby having the vaccine and you'll probably both still be at the clinic.

Healthcare staff who give vaccinations are trained to recognise and deal with severe allergic reactions. Babies recover completely with treatment.

If you're concerned about how your baby reacted to a previous dose of the Hib-containing 6-in-1 vaccine (given at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age), talk to your GP, nurse or health visitor.

Find out more about vaccine safety and side effects

What to do if your baby is unwell after the Hib/MenC vaccine

Common side effects

If your baby develops a high temperature, keep them cool. Make sure they do not wear too many layers of clothes or blankets, and give them cool drinks.

You can also give them a dose of infant paracetamol or ibuprofen liquid according to the instructions on the bottle.

If you're still worried about your baby's reaction to the Hib/MenC vaccine, trust your instincts.

Speak to your doctor or call NHS 111.

Serious side effects

If your baby has a seizure or any serious medical problem once they're home after their vaccination, call 999 for an ambulance immediately.

Seizures, in particular, can look very alarming, but babies usually recover from them quickly.

Read this NHS leaflet about the common side effects of vaccination that may occur in babies and young children, and how to treat them (PDF, 118kb)

Monitoring the safety of the Hib/MenC vaccine

In the UK, the safety of vaccines is routinely monitored through the Yellow Card Scheme.

Most reactions reported through the Yellow Card Scheme have been minor reactions, such as rashes, fever, vomiting or redness and swelling where the injection was given.

Find out how to report a vaccine side effect

Page last reviewed: 26 March 2019
Next review due: 26 March 2022