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Reassuring anxious parents about immunisation

Nurses have a major role in promoting and advising parents about routine childhood immunisations:

Describe how immunisation works.

Explain how the vaccine will stimulate their child’s immune system to produce antibodies to fight the disease. This helps their child to be protected should they come into contact with the infection in the future.

Explain why immunisation is so important.

If their child is not immunised they will be at increased risk of catching serious diseases. There are some diseases that can kill children or cause lasting damage to their health.2

Talk parents through the immunisation schedule.

Explain that a baby needs to be immunised at the right age. The first ones are given at two months, with further doses at three months and four months.2

Effective communication with parents

The importance of constructive dialogue between a practice nurse and a parent is of particular importance at the point of immunisation. It is natural for parents to be concerned for the safety of their child. To address their anxieties effectively it is essential that the appointment is long enough to enable you to sensitively:3

  • Reinforce the importance of immunisation
  • Provide advice and reassurance about the management of possible side effects
  • Answer any queries that parents may have.
The makers of Calpol® understand that parents will be looking to you for reassuring advice on how to manage the side effects of immunisation. That’s why Calpol® have developed an immunisation support pack updated with the latest information about the Meningitis B and Meningitis C vaccines.

Within your immunisation support pack you will find the following materials:

For health professionals:

  • Waiting room poster
  • Your guide to the CALPOL® range
  • Your guide to conversing with anxious parents about immunisation

For parents/children:

  • Immunisation: A Guide for Parents
  • “I’ve been very brave today” stickers

Order your FREE pack today!
To request your free immunisation support pack you can either contact CALPOL® customer care line on 01344 864 042 or email, available while stocks last.

Helping parents manage immunisation-related side effects

Help prepare parents for the common side effects associated with immunisation:3

Side effects

Explain that infant paracetamol can help if their child has a temperature and is distressed or uncomfortable after a vaccination (e.g. Calpol® Infant Suspension suitable from two months, for babies weighing over 4kg – detailed dosing instructions and advice on managing fever can be found on the cold and flu tab).

Meningitis B advice

Taking the time to advise parents about fever prevention is particularly important ahead of the Men B vaccines at two and four months4,5

Explain that the Men B vaccine has a higher risk of fever but that the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks

Guide parents through the recommendations for post-immunisation fever prevention using paracetamol:

  • Advise parents to buy infant paracetamol in advance of their child’s two month and four month vaccination appointments.
  • Make sure parents understand how paracetamol should be dosed (see table)4
  • Explain that by the age of 12 months the fever risk after the Men B vaccine is the same as other vaccines and no routine fever prevention is required,5 although paracetamol may help if side effects such as injection site pain or fever occur after vaccination.6
Dosage and timing of infant paracetamol suspension (120mg/5ml)
for the routine immunisation programme at 2 and 4 months
Age of baby Dose 1 Dose 2 Dose 3
2 months One 2.5ml as
soon as possible
after vaccination
One 2.5ml
4-6 hours
after 1st dose
One 2.5ml
4-6 hours
after 2nd dose
4 months One 2.5ml as
soon as possible
after vaccination
One 2.5ml
4-6 hours
after 1st dose
One 2.5ml
4-6 hours
after 2nd dose
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