Adverse events following Immunisation (AEFI’s)

There is a great deal of evidence to prove that immunisation of children does more harm than good.68

When a vaccine is given it is common for babies and children to develop a fever and to experience some soreness and redness at the site of injection. Parents are often advised to give them Panadol (or similar) to reduce fever and discomfort. Less common adverse events are –

  • a hypotonic or floppy episode
  • excessive sleeping
  • prolonged crying or screaming in a high pitch,
  • gastro-intestinal upsets such as vomiting, diarrhea and constipation
  • extremely high temperature
  • seizures
  • immediate and severe rash.

There have been no controlled studies to compare the effects on the immune, blood, brain and nervous systems of babies and children before and after vaccines. There are few studies to identify which children are likely to have severe reactions to vaccines including anaphylaxis (allergy), paralysis, brain damage and death.

Reactions may be avoided if any family history of allergy  and/or adverse reactions to vaccines were taken into account. However, rather than being cautious about vaccinating children who have suffered a previous reaction, or who have brothers or sisters who have had severe reactions to vaccines, parents are advised to continue vaccinating. The goal is to make every visit to the doctor an opportunity to vaccinate.

  • In 1987 the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) in America recommended that parents of infants and children who have a family history of convulsions be informed of the increased risk of seizures following DPT vaccination.
  •  “Serious adverse events may be caused by different constituents in a vaccine: the active antigen, an adjuvant such as potassium aluminium sulphate (alum), a conservatitive agent such as thiomersal, or remnants from the production process.69
  • Studies show an increased risk of bradycardia (abnormally low heart rate) and apnoea (ceasing to breathe) in preterm infants given vaccinations.70 It is suggested they be monitored when vaccinated and if they are too unwell to be vaccinated on time at 2 months (from birth), any delay can be made up by administering vaccines only 1 month apart.71

Babies, even those born prematurely, receive the same dose of vaccine as a five year old despite the obvious differences in development and size. Dosages for Paracetamol/Panadol, in contrast, are carefully administered according to weight and age.


68 Statement by Dr JA Morris, former Chief Vaccine Control Officer of the US Federal Drug Administration
69 Expert Rev Vaccines 2007;6(5):863-869)
70 Harold E Buttram MD & Alan R Yurko, Childhood Immunisations and Abrupt OnsetApnoea, references 12-16
71 AIH, 9th Edition, NH&MRC, 2008