What are the side effects of getting a flu shot?


Year in year out, you may protect yourself from the flu by getting vaccinated. The vaccine may come in the form of nasal spray or a flu shot. These vaccines may lower the chances of getting the flu by about 60%. The flu shot is recommendable if you are above 6 months of age. If you or your family member is at risk of getting serious complications as a result of the flu, then there is need of flu shot. People who can develop complications include those over 65 years, pregnant women, people with chronic diseases and caregivers of these categories. If you have allergies to chicken eggs, then the shot is not recommended for you. If you also experience an allergic reaction in the past, then do not use the shot. If you are very sick and have a fever, then you should wait until you get better so as to receive the shot.

Side effects range from mild to severe. However, it does not happen to everyone. It depends on the type of vaccine you receive. This article is to educate you about possible side effects before you get the flu shot.

1. Pain at the Injection Site

It happens in the exact place where the shot was given. After the shot is administered, redness, warmth, soreness and in some cases some slight swellings can occur. The soreness at the injection side is the most common. The soreness and pain normally last for less than two days.

2. Aches and Pains

After the shot, you may experience achiness and pain in the muscles all over the body. This will happen on the 1st day and will go away after two days. You may take pain relievers which can alleviate some of the pains.

3. Headache

A Headache, Fainting, dizziness can come as side effects of both the nasal spray and the shot. This is treated as a mild side effect. It should not last for more than 2 days. In case you are prone to dizziness or painting with the shots then do not hesitate to inform your healthcare provider.

4. Fever

For both the nasal spray and flu shot, a fever of 101 degrees Celsius or slightly lower is a common side effect. In case of any slight fever then you should treat that as a mild side effect. The effect should go away within two days. Fever over 101 degrees Celsius (High) is not common, seek medical attention or call your doctor.

5. Runny Nose and Sore Throat

Nasal spray causes few side effects as compared to shots. This comes as a result of where nasal spray gets administered. You may experience running nose followed by a sore throat.

6. Severe Allergic Reactions

Rarely, the flu vaccine is going to cause severe allergic reactions. The key sign here includes; accelerated heartbeat, trouble in breathing, hives, swelling, change in behavior, weakness, and dizziness. The severe allergic reactions will happen a few hours after you receive the vaccine. In case of any of the side effects, then call your doctor for advice.

7. Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS)

This comes in extreme and very rare cases. Some types of flu vaccines may cause the syndrome. GBS is a neurologic condition, which can cause weakness or paralysis throughout your body. In case of this condition, run to the hospital for treatment


Always ensure you talk to your healthcare provider about the merits and demerits of using the flu vaccine. Most of the side effects are mild, severe effects are rare.

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