Meningococcal B immunisation - paracetamol for pēpi under 2 years old - NIP8788

March 2024
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This leaflet provides information to parents and caregivers on the use of paracetamol when having the MenB vaccine, due to the high risk of fever for children under 2 years.

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March 2024
March 2024
A5 pad of 25 leaflets
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Paracetamol is recommended for pēpi under 2 years old

In New Zealand the meningococcal B (MenB) vaccine we use is called Bexsero. This vaccine can cause quite high fevers – particularly for pēpi under 2 years. To reduce the chance of your baby developing high fevers, it is recommended that paracetamol is given before and after immunisation.

Why is fever a side effect of vaccination?

Fever is a common side effect of many vaccines. It shows that the immune system is responding to the vaccine.

When should I give the paracetamol and how much?

It’s important to follow the dosage and timing advice provided by your vaccinator. Three doses 6 hours apart are usually enough to stop high fevers. If your baby is sleeping when they are due for another dose, you don’t need to wake them. You can give them a dose when they wake up.

The amount of paracetamol needed for each dose is based on your child’s weight, so it changes as they grow. Therefore, the vaccinator may need to check your baby’s weight at each visit.

If you need paracetamol talk to your vaccinator.

If you are using paracetamol that you already have at home, check the label on the bottle to make sure you are using the right strength for your child and that it has NOT expired. The label MUST be 120mg/5mLs (not 250mg/5mls). If you are not sure or unable to read the label do not use the medicine and talk to your vaccinator.

Table with todays date, child's weight, how many mLs of paracetamol to give and when to give it.

If you have any concerns about your child’s symptoms, or they are still experiencing high fever after immunisation, talk to your doctor, practice nurse, healthcare provider or call Healthline on 0800 611 116 anytime to get advice.

If you have immediate concerns about your child’s safety, call 111 for an ambulance and make sure you tell them your child has had a MenB vaccination.

Outlined box for vaccinator to write when child's next vaccine is due.
This is to be given with the After your child is immunised handout.

For more information about the vaccine go to: