Patient Comments: Flu Vaccination - Side Effects

Did you have any side effects of your flu vaccination?

Comment from: Kelly, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: January 29

I have gotten a flu shot every year with no problems except for maybe a sore arm. This year, 1 hour after getting the shot, my left eye swelled closed and started to water. I saw a doctor who put me on an antibiotic/steroid drop which helped relieve the symptoms. Two days after stopping the drops, both eyes became red, swollen and watery. They burn constantly. The doctors are baffled. I have eliminated any possible allergic reasons. I am now in week 9 and am facing problems at work because my eyes look so bad. I am currently on another round of steroid drops. I have no idea how long it will take for this to go away or even if it will.

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Comment from: Jan, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: January 14

As a caregiver for my mom, her doctor suggested I get the flu vaccine, I have not had one for over 20 years and have only had the flu once. Anyway I received the vaccine on a Friday afternoon and by evening time I had a severe headache along with constant pain in my neck and shoulders, but the fatigue was the worst part of it, all I wanted to do was sleep but was unable to due to my responsibilities in caring for my mom. It is now Sunday night and I still feel the same.

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Comment from: butternut, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: December 30

I had never had a flu shot, had flu maybe every 10-15 years, am very healthy, no chronic illnesses and I take no medicines. I am only allergic to penicillin, nothing else. I was forced to get flu shot for the first time this year as I am a registered nurse. A few hours after the shot, my arm started getting wheals, then itching, burning, swelling to 7cm circumference, plus burning and itching of eyes/nose/throat. It's been 3 weeks and I still don't feel right. I needed a week of prednisone. My employer told me only Guillain-Barré syndrome and anaphylaxis "count” as a reaction. So basically you have to stop breathing or be paralyzed to be excused. I missed a whole week of work. I can't afford to make myself sick every year and miss a whole week of work. I don't want to do this again.

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Comment from: sllep tech, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 13

Before being diagnosed with RA (rheumatoid arthritis), I got vaccine every year because of fibromyalgia and working in hospital. So after RA I've been leery. I did it this past Friday. Friday night I had a slight headache; Saturday, nausea, sweats and weakness; Sunday, nausea, sweats, fatigue and I thought I was going to pass out. All this on top of joint and muscle pain; not again, not me.

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Comment from: LelKnit, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 13

Injection site appears like a bug bite and is red and a little bit swollen. It itches a bit but is tolerable. I have had a headache for the past 3 days since getting the shot. Hopefully it resolves soon. I get the flu shot every year and this is the first time I have had the headache. I received the non-intramuscular shot so the up side is I have no shoulder or muscle pain this year.

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Comment from: concerned., 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 13

After my first flu shot some 20 plus years ago, the next day I had body aches, fevers, chills and was extremely sick for 3 days. The following years for 15 consecutive years I received a shot without any incident. I stopped out of my own laziness and decided to get one again this year, I received it on Tuesday and by Friday I had headache, very high fever, body aches and extreme fatigue. I am not sure if I will continue to receive them or not. I have been told you can't get the flu from the shot, but I know this was not all imaginary.

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Comment from: Miki, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: December 09

It was the worst mistake I ever made. I've never gotten a flu shot in my life but my wife thought it may be a good idea as I deal with people from all over the world on a daily basis. I thought I was going to die. Within 4-1/2 hours of getting the shot I was into full blown diarrhea and then another hour later projectile vomiting. This lasted all night and into the next day. I had my shot at 5 PM; never again. Still waiting to hear from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) as it seems this is an extremely rare case.

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