Flu Vaccination - Side Effects

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Did you have any side effects of your flu vaccination?

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What are risks and side effects of the flu vaccine?

Serious side effects of the flu vaccine are uncommon. Side effects of the injection vaccine include soreness at the site of the injection, muscle aching, fever, and feeling unwell. People report less discomfort with the intradermal rather than the intramuscular vaccine. Very rarely, serious allergic reactions have been reported.

Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is an illness characterized by fever, nerve damage, and muscle weakness. In 1976, vaccination with the swine flu vaccine was associated with development of GBS. Studies have been done to evaluate if other flu vaccines were associated with GBS, with only one of the studies showing an association. That single study suggested that one person out of 1 million vaccinated people may be at risk of GBS associated with the vaccine.

The live viruses in the nasal-spray vaccine are weakened so that they do not cause severe symptoms. However, people at high risk for serious complications of the flu (see above) and those with suppressed immune systems (including those taking biologic medications, such as for rheumatoid arthritis) should receive the inactivated rather than the nasal-spray vaccine. Mild symptoms can occur as a side effect of the vaccination. Side effects of the nasal-spray flu vaccine can include runny nose, headache, sore throat, and cough. Children who receive the vaccine may also develop mild fever and muscle aches.

Return to Flu Vaccine (Flu Shot)

See what others are saying

Comment from: Annie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 01

My note on 29 April 2014. On 5 April 2014 I had the flu vaccine injection done at a well-known pharmacy. I was fine until 27 April 2014 when I fell ill, had sore throat, thick head sensation, runny nose, aching ears etc. I called upon the pharmacy where I got it from who said they cannot refund me and sold me a flu 3 in 1 pack which cost me further. I am not impressed. The pharmaceutical factories make these vaccines, it doesnt really work, we don't get a guarantee, and we don't get a refund either! So I bought myself a chocolate to help me feel better.

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Comment from: Boo, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 02

I had the flu jab in November and haven't felt right since. I've got ongoing muscle pain in my neck and shoulders, and stinging pain around my ribs and tummy. Three doctors said it was shingles but I don't agree with them, I've spent a fortune on physiotherapy and acupuncture but nothing has helped. Now I've got this horrible rash pityriasis rosea, it's the worst itch you can imagine along with viral symptoms and to top it all I've suddenly developed a tree pollen allergy. I felt fighting fit until I had the flu jab, I won't be having it this year.

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