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Vaccines and Bleeding Disorders

Vaccines can prevent serious diseases such as polio, whooping cough, COVID-19, and tetanus (lockjaw). Your child needs vaccines even if they have a bleeding disorder. 

The health care team can give vaccines a certain way to help keep your child from bleeding too much. Most children with bleeding disorders can get all their vaccines.

Getting vaccines with a bleeding disorder

Children with bleeding disorders should get vaccines in this way:

  • Only 2 at a time with 1 in each thigh. 
  • If possible, it should be in the top of the thigh.
  • No more than 2 vaccines at any doctor’s appointment.
  • Use smallest gauge needle (23 gauge or small size).
  • Some vaccines can be given under the skin. But most of them should be given in the muscle.
  • If your child is on prophylaxis treatment for hemophilia, they should get vaccinated within one day after treatment. This decreases the risk of developing swelling. 
Most children with bleeding disorders can receive vaccines

Most children with bleeding disorders can receive vaccines.

After your child gets a vaccine

  • Hold pressure at the site for at least 2 minutes without rubbing it.
  • Apply an ice pack for 5-10 minutes. 
  • Avoid aspirin and ibuprofen to relieve your child’s pain or fever. Use acetaminophen instead. 
  • Watch for swelling around the injection site. It may need treatment. The injection site may become slightly red and raised. Hold an ice pack on the area. Draw around the bump with a soft marker and watch for 24 hours. If it increases in size, redness, or heat, call your child’s care team.

If you have questions about vaccines for your child who has a bleeding disorder, reach out to your child’s care team. 

Key Points

  • Vaccines can prevent serious illnesses.
  • Even if your child has a bleeding disorder, they can be vaccinated safely.
  • Be sure your child’s doctor understands they have a bleeding disorder.
  • Take precautions after your child gets a vaccine to ensure there are no issues.
  • Your child’s care team is available to help if you have concerns. 

Reviewed: September 2022