Diarrhea after vaccination in a baby

Definition - diarrhea after vaccination in baby?

Post-vaccination diarrhea in babies means bowel movements that have a thin consistency and occur more frequently than normal bowel movements. The diarrhea occurs in connection with a vaccination and is therefore considered a side effect of the vaccination. Diarrhea is a relatively common - but usually completely harmless - side effect of some vaccinations.

First read the main articles under:

  • Vaccinations in the baby
  • Diarrhea in the baby

After which vaccinations is diarrhea particularly common in babies?

Most often, diarrhea occurs after vaccination against rotaviruses. This is an oral vaccination that is given 2 or 3 times (depending on the vaccine used) at least 4 weeks apart. The vaccination against rotaviruses is a so-called live vaccine. This means that the vaccine contains weakened pathogens that stimulate the immune system and thus strengthen the body's defense against infection with rotaviruses.

Rotavirus infection leads to gastrointestinal infections with severe diarrhea, abdominal pain and vomiting. Due to the resulting loss of fluid, infants who are sick with rotavirus infection often have to be hospitalized.

Vaccination against rotavirus reduces the risk of developing severe rotavirus infection. Various side effects can occur after vaccination against rotaviruses, but the vaccination is generally well tolerated. In addition to diarrhea, common possible side effects include stomach pain, vomiting and fever.

Also after various other vaccinations, such as the vaccination against pneumococci, the vaccination against meningococci type B and type C, the combination vaccination against diphtheria, tetanus (tetanus), pertussis (whooping cough), poliomyelitis (polio), haemophilus influenzae type B and hepatitis B as well the combination vaccination against mumps, measles and rubella can cause diarrhea as a short-term side effect.

At this point, we recommend our article with additional information on vaccinations and their complications:

  • Vaccination against the rotavirus
  • Fever in baby after vaccination
  • Side effects from vaccinations in the baby

Course of the disease with diarrhea after vaccination

The diarrhea usually does not last longer than 1-2 days. Sometimes diarrhea occurs only once after a vaccination.

Treatment of diarrhea after vaccination in the baby

As a rule, diarrhea that occurs as a side effect after a vaccination does not require special treatment. However, it is important - especially with infants - to ensure that they are drinking enough fluids.

Fluid is lost with every diarrhea. Especially in babies who are not yet able to compensate for such a loss of fluid so well, there is a risk of dehydration if they have frequent diarrhea. If there is the impression that the babies cannot drink enough fluids, the treating pediatrician should be consulted. They can then decide whether there is a risk of dehydration. In such a case, inpatient treatment may be necessary. As part of this, fluid is substituted via the vein.

If you have diarrhea, you should - even more than usual - make sure you change your diapers regularly. Otherwise, diarrhea-related skin irritations in the diaper area can lead to a rash (diaper rash) or fungal infections (diaper thrush), which must be treated with a mushroom ointment.

Diarrhea in babies can also be caused by another illness and should therefore not be underestimated, so read the article under: Diarrhea in the baby - when is it dangerous?

Duration and prognosis of diarrhea after vaccination in the baby

If diarrhea occurs as a side effect of vaccination in the baby, it usually does not last longer than a maximum of 1-2 days. The prognosis is good.

How contagious is diarrhea after vaccination in babies?

Diarrhea that occurs as part of a vaccination, i.e. as a vaccination side effect, is generally not contagious.

Symptoms accompanying diarrhea after vaccination in a baby

Diarrhea is one of several possible side effects after vaccination. The possible side effects are relatively similar from vaccination to vaccination. Some vaccinations are more likely to have side effects than others.

The common side effects that can occur in babies in addition to diarrhea during a vaccination include mild pain, redness and swelling in the area of ​​the injection site, swelling of the lymph nodes in the area of ​​the injection site, temperature increases up to fever, increased restlessness and irritability, but also fatigue with increased need for sleep and loss of appetite. A rare side effect is the development of a febrile seizure as part of the increase in temperature. Some vaccines also have specific rare side effects.

Further additional information can be found at: Side effects from vaccinations in the baby

Causes of diarrhea from vaccination in the baby

Almost all vaccinations that are recommended during the first year of life can also cause gastrointestinal complaints as a side effect. This can be related to the ingredients of the vaccine, but also to the fact that the respective vaccination boosts the body's immune system. In the short term, this can lead to various - in most cases completely harmless - symptoms, such as diarrhea.

Diagnosing diarrhea by vaccinating the baby

If diarrhea occurs hours to a few days after a vaccination, this can be an indication of a connection between vaccination and diarrhea.

In infants, however, diarrhea occasionally occurs - especially when they start feeding complementary food or when changing milk - regardless of vaccinations.

Gastrointestinal infections such as rotavirus or norovirus infections can also lead to diarrhea in babies. If the symptoms subside within 1-3 days and the baby drinks enough, no detailed diagnosis is usually necessary.

If the diarrhea persists, it can be useful to take a stool sample so that it can be examined for pathogens.

How long does the diarrhea last after a rotavirus vaccination?

Diarrhea can occur after a rotavirus vaccination. The duration of the diarrhea varies from child to child. Usually it does not last longer than 1-2 days and disappears on its own. It is important to ensure that you are drinking enough fluids.

How long is diarrhea contagious after a rotavirus vaccination?

If diarrhea occurs after a rotavirus vaccination, this is usually a harmless side effect of the vaccination. In this case, the diarrhea is not contagious because it does not contain any infectious agents.

If, on the other hand, a rotavirus infection occurs, rotaviruses are found in the stool and there is a relatively high risk of infection. In this case, it is very important to adhere to hygienic measures in order to avoid further transmission.

Rotavirus infection cannot be caused by vaccination against rotaviruses.

You can learn more at the following article: Vaccination against rotavirus

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