The flu shot is currently one of the most effective ways to prevent getting the flu. You and your family members should get your flu shots as early as possible in order to develop optimal immunity. However, some people do experience some mild symptoms after they get the flu shot. This can include headache, mild body aches, low grade fever, sore throat, etc. It is not normal though to develop things like hives, trouble breathing or swelling in the throat. These types of symptoms indicate that you are having an allergic reaction to something included in the shot and you should seek medical care immediately. Mild allergic reactions can often be treated with over the counter antihistamines but always check with your doctor to clarify what you should do moving forward.
What Causes An Allergic Reaction To The Flu Shot?
Unfortunately, allergic reactions can occur at any time. Just because you have received the flu shot in the past doesn’t mean you aren’t susceptible to this type of reaction. There may be a new ingredient in the shot that you are receiving that you are allergic to or you may have developed a new allergy that you were not aware of. People who have serious allergies to eggs are supposed to be very careful when receiving the flu shot and in some instances it is not recommended at all. That is because of the prevalence of egg protein in flu vaccinations. There are also a variety of other ingredients including preservatives and such that can give people allergic reactions.
What Should You Do?
Before you completely rule out the possibility of receiving the flu shot because of a potential allergy concern, you will want to speak with your doctor about this as well as your allergist if you have one. There may be a certain brand of flu shot that you would be better off getting or you may be able to get it broken down into smaller doses to reduce your risk of a reaction. If you are susceptible to allergic reactions, you will want to watch your symptoms very carefully after you receive the shot and act accordingly how you have planned with your doctor. You may be advised to take an antihistamine prior to the shot as well.
If you are told that it is not recommended that you receive the flu shot, you may want to utilize some other preventative methods to reduce your chances of contracting the flu. Proper hand washing techniques are very important. This is helpful when children return home from school, when you are out and about, when you use public restrooms and when you come into contact with people who may have been recently sick with flu like symptoms. You should also get plenty of sleep each night, eat healthy and exercise regularly in order to keep your immune system healthy so it can fight properly.
The flu virus can be deadly. Each year it claims the lives of so many people. During high peak times, not just the elderly, small children and immune-compromised people are susceptible. In fact, otherwise healthy people have died from complications to the flu. Because of this, you should strongly consider getting the flu shot as a way to prevent yourself and others around you from contracting this illness. If you have concerns make sure to speak with your doctor early on to make sure your questions are answered with enough time to receive the shot before it runs out and to make sure your body has time to build up its proper immunity.