Immunisations save millions of lives each year. However, when deciding whether to have a vaccination or to get your child vaccinated, it’s natural to worry about potential side effects. Like any medicine, there can be some side effects from vaccines, but serious adverse events from vaccination are rare.
The most common adverse events are minor, such as low-grade fever, pain or redness at the injection site. Severe reactions are rare but can include seizures or life threatening allergic reactions. For more information talk to your doctor or nurse.
You can play a role in monitoring the safety of vaccines SmartVax is a new program that is being used by some general practices and government clinics to send a text message to patients to see if they experienced any reactions following an immunisation.
Anyone who responds that they experienced a reaction will be sent an SMS link to a 2 minute online survey that requests further detail about their reaction. Your vaccine provider is notified of any reactions you report, and information about suspected adverse events may be shared with public health authorities who use this information for monitoring vaccine safety.
For more information and some screen shots of the messages and survey, see About SmartVax.
Frequently asked questions - patients Do I have to participate? No. Participation is not compulsory and your choice to participate or not will have no impact on the care you will receive. Should you prefer NOT to participate, just ignore the message. To prevent receiving messages in the future, you can ask your provider to exclude you from SmartVax.
Do I have to have a smartphone to participate? The initial SMS response requires a simple "Y" or "N" response which can be performed from any mobile phone. If the response is "Y" (i.e. there is a reaction), a link to a survey is sent. This survey can be completed on a smartphone or alternatively the link can be copied into an internet browser on the computer and completed there. However - it cannot be completed on a basic mobile phone without web browsing functionality.