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Is it true that children shouldn't be given vaccinations while they are sick?

It’s generally believed that you should avoid having your child vaccinated if he or she is sick. However, while you may want to wait if your child is very ill, with flu or pneumonia for instance, there’s no reason to wait if your child merely has a cold or earache.

Sometimes, your doctor will advise waiting if your child is on certain medications – those that contain steroids for instance, or if your child is ill. The latter is not because the vaccine is any less effective though – it’s merely to avoid your child having the side effects of vaccination on top of their illness.

For children with compromised immune systems – those with HIV or AIDS and certain cancers for instance, no live vaccines (like chicken pox and MMR for example) will be given. That’s to prevent the risk of them contracting the disease from the vaccine. Otherwise healthy children can, however, receive their vaccinations if their illnesses are mild to moderate.

If your child is sick when due to have an immunisation and you’re in doubt, check with your doctor first.

More questions

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Injections are necessary - the thing is to just have them and then get on with it. If needs be, have your child’s favourite toy or something else that will distract him while he has his shot.
Antibiotics do not kill viruses, such as the common cold, and by over using antibiotics, particularly when they aren’t necessary, you are weakening your child's future defences! 
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Giving any child aspirin could contribute to them getting a serious illness known as Reye’s Syndrome.
As a parent you should understand the risks associated with various different types of medication
Both ibuprofen and paracetamol are effective pain and fever treatment options for babies and children.
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