There Is A Reporting System For Adverse Reactions Vaers Available To The Public
The public should be reassured that we have systems in place to rapidly detect and assess potential flu vaccine safety problems,” Shimabukuro said. The CDC and FDA use the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System to monitor early warnings of problems after vaccination, which can help determine whether further investigation is necessary.
Anyone can report possible vaccine side effects or adverse reactions to VAERS parents, patients, doctors, nurses, and caregivers. The CDC accepts those reports regardless of the seriousness of a health event and regardless of whether we think the vaccine caused the adverse event or not, Shimabukuro said. The reports are reviewed by experts, who look for unusual patterns that may indicate a possible safety problem.
Q: Is The Flu Vaccine Safe For Pregnant Women
A: As a general guide, any females that are pregnant, planning to be pregnant or breastfeeding, should discuss with their Doctor as to whether they obtain the flu vaccine during their first trimester. The Australian Immunisation Handbook, published by the National Health and Medical Research Council, recommends vaccination for pregnant women who will be in the their second and or third trimester during the flu season due to evidence from a number of studies that suggest an increased risk of developing flu-associated complications. Please advise our practitioners at the time of vaccinating if you are pregnant.
Flu Shot Side Effects : What’s Normal And What’s Cause For Concern
All vaccines have the potential to cause side effects, and that includes your yearly flu shot. But most are totally normal.
The coronavirus is still a very real concern this fall, but so is the influenza virus, aka the flu. The good news is we have very safe and effective tools for fighting and preventing both potentially deadly viruses, thanks to the COVID-19 vaccines and the flu vaccine.
According to the CDC, flu shots are safe and one of the best ways to keep from getting and spreading the flu to others. And people who get vaccinated and get sick anyway often experience less severe symptoms. If you’re thinking of getting vaccinated for both COVID-19 and the flu, the CDC says it is safe to get both vaccines together .
The simple fact is, flu vaccines can save lives. There are plenty of myths out there about the flu vaccine, such as the idea that it can give you the flu. While that’s not true, you can experience some side effects from the flu shot. The side effects are usually mild and nothing to worry about, but it’s important to know about them so you’re not worried when you get your vaccine.
Below, Dr. Carmen Teague, specialty medical director at Atrium Health‘s Mecklenburg Medical Group shares what you need to know about common flu shot side effects that are normal, and which side effects may be a sign of something more serious.
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Sore Arm After Vaccine Thats Normal
Side effects after receiving a vaccination are normal and arent necessarily cause for concern. Mild injection site pain and irritation are common after receiving many vaccinations, including the COVID-19 vaccine. In fact, about 65% to 82% of people will have injection site pain with the COVID vaccine, and more specifically, if youve gotten the Moderna shot.
The COVID vaccine, along with many vaccines in general, can cause common side effects to occur such as:
- Redness or soreness at the site of injection
- Muscle aches
- Fever or chills
Arm pain is likely to begin within 24 hours of vaccination and lasts a few days after the vaccine is administered, says Grant Anderson, Ph.D., an associate professor in the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. A sore arm after a COVID shot is the most common side effect, and according to Anderson, only 25% of vaccinated people report experiencing side effects other than arm pain.
Some vaccines can hurt more than others. Along with the COVID vaccine, the shingles vaccine, Shingrix, can cause more and longer-lasting pain than other vaccines. The flu vaccine, on the other hand, usually causes less pain, explains Anderson.
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Q: What Is Influenza And How Is It Transmitted
A: Influenza, or the flu as it is commonly called, is a highly contagious respiratory viral illness and is most common during the winter months. Influenza A and B are the major types of flu viruses that infect the body and can cause serious illness, and even death, in people of all ages. When someone with the flu sneezes or coughs, the virus is expelled into the air and may be inhaled by anyone close by.
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How Common Is Gbs How Common Is It Among People Who Have Been Vaccinated Against Flu
The background rate for GBS in the Unites States is about 80 to 160 cases of GBS each week, regardless of vaccination. The data on the association between GBS and seasonal flu vaccination are variable and inconsistent across flu seasons. If there is an increased risk of GBS following flu vaccination it is small, on the order of one to two additional GBS cases per million doses of flu vaccine administered.
Cdc Expands Booster Recommendations In Response To Omicron Variant
“J& J knocked me out,” Alex Ossola, who received her first dose of the vaccine soon after it became available in February, told TODAY. “I had a full-blown fever, teeth chattering just ridiculous side effects.” But her booster shot, which was the Moderna mRNA vaccine, felt much milder. “This was like nothing,” she said, adding that within 48 hours she felt completely normal.
Making matters even more confusing is the fact that some people may get their flu vaccine at the same time as the booster. That’s completely safe and a convenient way to cross both shots off your to-do list in the same appointment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But if you do experience side effects later, it will be difficult to know which vaccine is responsible.
That’s what happened to Lindsay Mann, who received her Moderna booster alongside her flu shot last month. “I’m pretty sensitive and I have a pretty low pain tolerance,” she told TODAY, so dealing with the soreness after having one shot in each arm was a challenge. She also experienced a fever, body aches, chills and “complete exhaustion.”
Remember, though, that the side effects from the vaccine and the booster, while unpleasant, are typically mild and temporary. “If you’re weighing the side effects of the vaccine versus the effects of COVID, I would take the side effects of the vaccine any day,” Milstone said.
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Redness Pain Or Swelling At The Injection Site
This is another good sign that your immune system is raring to go and responding to the vaccine properly, Dr. Kemmerly says. Plus, any time something breaks the skin barrier , it may get red and swollen as your body reacts to it as a foreign object. This side effects is common and should only last a few days.
So Why Does Sirva Happen
Dr. Donohue explains that doctors and nurses are properly trained in landmarking, or determining where a vaccine should be given in the arm and using the proper needle length. When a needle is injected too deep the deltoid muscle can be penetrated and structures within the shoulder can be damaged such as the rotator cuff or joint capsule, he explains. In very rare cases the axillary or radial nerves in the upper arm could be injured.
According to the 2012 case report, SIRVA is due to an inflammatory effect from vaccine administration into the subdeltoid bursa, or a fluid-filled sac located under the deltoid muscle in the shoulder joint.
A 2018 study published in the Canadian Pharmacists Journal, specified that it occurs when an injection is administered too high in the arm, and the vaccine is delivered to the shoulder capsule instead of the deltoid muscle.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Sirvaand How Is It Treated
While dull muscle ache pain after a vaccine injection is common, it usually disappears on its own with days. With SIRVA, on the other hand, an individual will usually start feeling pain within 48 hours of the vaccination, and doesnt improve.
“In patients who experience SIRVA, months may pass by, and patients will still complain of increasing pain, weakness, and impaired mobility in the injected arm. Simple actions like lifting your arm to brush your teeth can cause pain,” said Kelly Grindrod, a professor in the School of Pharmacy at Waterloo and one of the authors of the 2018 study.
People experiencing these symptoms should talk to their doctor. “It’s important that we learn to recognize these signs of SIRVA so that we can access appropriate treatment,” Grindrod points out.
In order to diagnose SIRVA, an ultrasound scan is needed, which can also determine the level and type of damage. Inflammation reducing oral medications and corticosteroid injections to the shoulder are common treatments for SIRVA, and additionally, physiotherapy may be recommended.
Common Side Effects Of The Flu Shot
Some of the most common side effects of the flu vaccine include:
- Soreness, redness, a small rash, or swelling at the site of injection
- Mild fever
- Nausea or stomach pain
Side effects typically begin shortly after injection and should only last a few days, according to the CDC.
“Headache, fever, and sore muscles are not a sign of allergic reactions,” says Michael McNeil, MD MPH, Team Lead for Vaccine Safety Datalink at the CDC’s Immunization Safety Office. “These reactions can occur as a result of the patient’s immune system responding to a vaccine.”
Most of these side effects are unavoidable, but to avoid arm soreness, try taking ibuprofen two hours before you receive your vaccination.
Important: While some people believe you can catch influenza from the flu shot, this is not true, since the flu vaccine does not contain any active viral particles.
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How Safe Is The Flu Shot
The seasonal flu vaccine has a good safety record. Its literally designed to be given to hundreds of millions of people, and studies have been done over the years to keep it pure and safe and non-reactive, Jacobson told BuzzFeed News.
The flu vaccine isnt recommended for babies under 6 months old and people who have a life-threatening allergy to an ingredient in the flu vaccine, but for most everyone else, its safe including young children and pregnant women.
Theres a large body of evidence on the safety of flu vaccination in pregnancy and its important for pregnant women to get vaccinated for flu because they are at increased risk of having severe flu and complications from influenza, Shimabukuro told BuzzFeed News. Pregnant women can also pass antibodies from the shot to the baby, which protects newborns in the first 6 months of life, when they are too young to get vaccinated themselves.
Another common concern is the safety of an ingredient called thimerosal, an ethyl mercurybased preservative thats added to some vaccines to prevent contamination with bacteria or fungi, according to the CDC. Many studies have shown that the small amounts of thimerosal in vaccines do not cause harm. However, in an abundance of caution it was removed from childrens vaccines in 2001, although its still found in some, but not all, flu vaccines.
Why Does Your Arm Hurt After A Flu Shot Here’s How Experts Explain It
It’s not only because someone just jabbed it with a needle.
Getting your annual flu shot is the first and most important step in protecting yourself and your loved ones against an unavoidable flu season. For the most part, that flu shot comes with only minor side effectsfatigue, headache or muscle aches, a mild feverand they’re much more manageable than getting the flu itself.
Another side effect from the flu vaccinearguably the most common oneis pain, swelling, or redness where the shot was given. On the surface, it makes sense: Of course you’ll have arm pain if you get a flu shot in your arm. But is your arm really supposed to be that sore after a tiny needle delivers the vaccine?
Turns out, there’s a little more to that localized arm pain, according to experts. Here’s why it tends to happen, and what you can do to lessen the discomfort, both before and after the jab.
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How Can I Alleviate My Arm Pain
Swelling, redness and soreness are common after the flu shot and can last 24-48 hours. “If you always experience soreness or swelling after a flu vaccination, take an ibuprofen about 2 hours prior to vaccination,” suggests Dr. Mora. “You can also try icing the injection site to reduce redness and swelling and taking another dose of ibuprofen to ease any soreness or swelling.”
What Is A Flu Vaccine
Influenza vaccines are vaccines that protect against the four influenza viruses that research indicates most common during the upcoming season. Most flu vaccines are flu shots given with a needle, usually in the arm, but there also is also a nasal spray flu vaccine.
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What Should You Do If You Experience Covid Arm
Per Dr. Little, COVID vaccine arm is NOT something to be worried about. “People who experience COVID arm can and should get their second dose of vaccine,” she affirms. However, it may help to get the second dose in the opposite arm, and if the rash is very itchy or tender, it may help to use topical steroids like hydrocortisone or to speak with your doctor.
/8side Effects To Expect From A Flu Shot
All vaccines, be it COVID-19 vaccine or a flu shot cause side effects, which diminish over time and are manageable.
According to the World Health Organization, “Vaccines contain weakened or inactive parts of a particular organism that triggers an immune response within the body.” “This weakened version will not cause the disease in the person receiving the vaccine, but it will prompt their immune system to respond much as it would have on its first reaction to the actual pathogen,” the health body adds.
Following a vaccination, there is an inflammatory response, which in turn leads to certain side effects that are temporary and can be eased.
That said, when it comes to flu vaccines, one might experience some mild side effects. Very rarely does a person experience allergic reactions.
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Serious Vaccine Side Effects
A more serious reaction to vaccines is rare and isnt always cause to not receive any more vaccinations in the future. For the most part, reactions are mild and go away in a few days. But there are some instances where you should contact your healthcare provider for medical advice.
Some side effects that are more serious include:
- Shoulder pain: This occurs when you receive the shot too high on your upper arm. This can cause pain that starts within 48 hours along with difficulty moving your shoulder around. It lasts longer than the normal timeline for injection site reaction for that vaccine and taking pain medication doesnt relieve the pain.
- Infection: Its rare, but receiving a shot punctures your skin, and does put you at a very small chance of the area becoming infected. If this occurs, its likely you would need to be treated with antibiotics.
- Anaphylaxis: The risk of a serious allergic reaction is about 1.31 for every million vaccine doses. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include swelling of the face, lips, and neck along with rapid heartbeat, and trouble breathing. It usually happens immediately after and in lesser cases, several hours post-vaccination. Very few people will have an anaphylactic reaction after 24 hours.
What Do Allergic Signs Look Like
“Signs of an allergic reaction include the following when they happen within four hours after your first vaccine dose,” says the Mayo Clinic:
- Continuous shortness of breath or wheezing.
- Swelling of the lips, eyes or tongue.
- Redness, swelling or itchiness in areas of the body other than the limb in which the vaccine was given.”
“Call your health care provider if:
- You have common reactions that last longer than 3 days.
- Your reaction is so strong that you are worried about it.
Some of the COVID-19 vaccine reactions are the same as the symptoms for a COVID-19 infection. Typically, if you had these symptoms you would be tested for COVID-19. But when you know that your symptoms likely are due to the vaccine, you do not need to be tested. You do need to be tested for COVID-19: If you were in close contact in the last 2 weeks with someone who has COVID-19. If you have a cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, new loss of taste or smell, congestion, or runny nose. These are not reactions to the vaccine.”
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What Can I Do To Avoid Flu Shot Pain
If mild arm soreness is off-putting, compare it to the whole-body achiness that comes with contracting the flu virus. Consider these methods for reducing flu shot pain following:
- Avoid Tensing Your Muscle During Vaccination: Take some deep breaths and clear your mind of any worry before you receive the shot. If youre among the 10% of U.S. citizens afraid of needles, try looking away to avoid tensing your muscle as the needle enters the skin.
- Move Your Arm After the Shot: Moving your arm post-injection aids in spreading the vaccination away from the injection site. While the initial pressure and discomfort may lead you instinctively to keep your arm still, the high concentration of medication in one spot can lead to muscle soreness later.
- Dont Skip Your Work-Out Routine: Moderate exercise will temporarily boost your bodys immune system for several hours and promotes blood circulation, leading the medication to be dispersed throughout muscle tissue.
- Use a Cool Compress: As you begin to experience muscle soreness, acting quickly can go a long way toward a speedy recovery and reducing discomfort. A cool compress acts twofold to reduce inflammation and numb the nerves in the skin.
- Take a Pain Reliever: If pain persists, an over-the-counter pain reliever may provide some relief. Keep in mind that if pain lasts longer than a few days, it may be wise to check in with your doctor.