Immunizations

Immunizations & Vaccines

VPG Vaccine Policy Statement

We believe in vaccination of children according to the national standards of care set forth by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to protect the health of your child and our community.

Tear-Free Vaccination Tips

Many children and parents associate a trip to the pediatrician with shots. There are actually a couple of vaccines that are not given by injection, the oral rotavirus vaccine and nasal influenza vaccine.  It would be wonderful if we could give them all by mouth, but vaccines contain proteins and complex sugars that are digested quickly in the stomach, so the only way to get most of them into contact with the immune system is to inject them into the skin or muscle.

Pain-Control Techniques

We now also have a variety of effective pain-control techniques.

  • Cooling spray can numb the skin just before shots are given so there is no poking sensation.
  • Another method uses a plastic plate covered with small points to block pain sensation.
  • Topical anesthetic creams can work in as little as 15 minutes to achieve the same effect.
  • For babies who are nursing, breastfeeding during a vaccination can provide significant pain relief as well.

Even without using any of these techniques, most babies calm down very quickly after their shots with being held. The calm in your voice and the firm reassurance of your embrace tell your baby that everything is fine. Remember, the shots may hurt for a moment, but the protection they are giving your baby is good for a lifetime.

By far the most common adverse reactions following vaccination are fever and fussiness, and sometimes there may be some redness or swelling at the injection site.  Many parents ask if they should give acetaminophen (eg, Tylenol, PediaCare Fever Reducer) or ibuprofen (eg, Motrin, Advil) prior to the vaccine visit. In the past we encouraged using these medications to reduce any discomfort or potential fever from vaccines. However, some newer studies have questioned whether giving acetaminophen might make the vaccines slightly less effective. Therefore some pediatricians are no longer recommending it.

Any medication or vaccine has the potential to cause an allergic reaction, sometimes a severe one. Rates of severe allergic reactions with vaccines run in the 1 per million range, making them quite rare.

No symptoms after receiving vaccines should be dramatic. If your child has a temperature above 102°F or a fever that lasts more than a few days, or if she is unusually fussy, please call the office.  Sometimes these symptoms are not from the vaccination and may need to be identified and treated.

If you notice your child is developing hives, wheezing, or seeming unusually ill shortly after she gets vaccines, alert the staff if you are still in the office or call emergency medical services (911) if you are at home.

Keep your child's health in check with Immunizations.
Call Virginia Pediatric Group at (703) 573-2432 for an appointment!

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