Side Effects of Flu Shot


The Flu shot vaccine can be considered as an inactivated vaccine which means that it has the influenza virus which has been killed. The shot contain dead influenza virus is injected into the muscles of the body so as to stimulate a response from the immune system to that virus. Thus, when an individual who has received flu shots is attacked by the influenza virus, then the antibodies of the immune system fight and kill the virus, hereby prevention any infection.

Flu shot side effects

Flu shot does not result in the flu. However, the occurrence of mild side effects due to flu shot is fairly common, particularly in infants and young children who are receiving the flu shot for the first time. Some flu shot side effects include:

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  • The systemic flu shot side effects may include rash, muscle aches, fever and an overall feeling of illness or malaise. The reactions tend to last for a day or two and may commence six to twelve hours after getting the shot.
  • There may be some local flu shot side effects such as swelling, pain and soreness in the area where the shot was given. These reactions are however mild and tend to last for just two days or less.
  • In very rare cases, some individuals who are allergic to eggs or other constituents of the flu shot, may experience angioedema, hives or the very serious and life threatening anaphylaxis. Such reactions are generally triggered by remnants of egg proteins in those individuals. There are several ways to administer the flu shot to people with egg allergies or on those with high risk of allergic reactions to flu shot components. Such individuals are advised to consult a physician or an allergist before taking the shot.

Hence, when your child gets fever and is increasingly fussy after getting the flu shot for the first time, you need not worry unnecessarily. It is a common flu shot side effect, which is usually very mild and disappears within a couple of days. It is also important to note that such side effects are more common when the child is administered the flu shot for the first time. Your child may not face the flu shot side effects when it is administered the second time around, in the next year.

In case the fever caused due to the flu shot is high and cannot be controlled or does not disappear quickly, then you may consult a doctor for effective remedy. Additionally, all serious flu shot side effects have to be immediately checked by a doctor.

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Flumist is a nasal spray flu vaccine and is becoming more popular than the traditional flu shot.

  • The flu shot side effects after administration of Flumist include the following:
    • Low grade or mild fever
    • Nasal congestion of runny nose
    • Headache
    • Aching muscles
    • Sore throat
    • Some of the rare side effects after Flumist include cough, sinusitis, chills and fatigue or weakness.
    • A study conducted on the effects of Flumist indicates that younger children have an increased tendency of wheezing after Flumist administration. Therefore, it is advisable for such children with a history of wheezing in the past year to opt for a flu shot instead of Flumist.

Flu shot side effects: A few considerations

When the child becomes after the flu shot, it is not necessary that the fever is a flu shot side effect. There could be a number of reasons for the fever. You may go through the considerations listed below before arriving at a conclusion.

  • When did the fever symptoms appear? Flu shot side effects occur rapidly within six to twelve hours after the shot. In case, the child has fever a day or two after the flu shot, then it may be due to different reasons.
  • Is the flu shot the first one for the child? If the child has never had any reactions to a flu shot before, then he/she may never experience flu shot side effects. The current instance of fever may be due to reasons other than the flu shot. Consult a doctor for proper diagnosis.
  • What are the other symptoms that accompany the fever? In case, the child had a cough or runny nose prior to the flu shot, then other causes of the fever need to be verified.
  • What is the duration of the fever? Most flu shot side effects do not last for more than a couple of days. If the child has had fever for more than two days, then consult a doctor to check for the underlying cause.

Flu shot vaccine 2010

The flu vaccine 2010 contains the 2009 H1N1 swine flu virus. The side effects for flu shot vaccine 2010 include the following:

  • Mild fever
  • Congestion of the nose or runny nose
  • Nausea
  • Muscle aches
  • Swelling, redness or soreness at the site of the injection
  • Headache

All reactions and flu shot side effects can be reported to the VAERS or Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System which is maintained by the CDC and FDA.

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