Signs Of A More Serious Reaction
“A very small percentage of people can have a true allergic reaction to the vaccine, including chest tightness, difficulty breathing, wheezing, facial or throat swelling and redness of the eyes,” Teague says. If you experience these symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately. Teague says severe allergic reactions usually happen within a few hours of getting the flu shot.
Signs of a severe allergic reaction, according to the CDC, can include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling around the eyes or lips
- A fast heartbeat or dizziness
Another possible reaction is an infection where the shot was administered. “Patients can also develop an infection at the injection site, which is manifested as worsening redness, swelling, warmth and tenderness,” Teague says. You should also seek immediate medical attention for this type of reaction.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
Before Getting The Vaccine
No Pain In Arm Or Shoulder After Flu Shot This Year
I posted the original question, regarding my awful experience last year with the flu shot I received, and this question/ASK received many responses! Is it normal for my arm muscle in my shoulder to hurt 2 weeks after the flu shot?.
Actually…it ended up hurting for 3-5 months, and was painful enough to disrupt my sleep, prohibit some movement when trying to pick up my 1 year old son, and caused me to wonder if something was damaged in my arm. I did not want to seem like a whiny patient, or to exaggerate my symptoms or anything .
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Will My Pain Go Away
Soreness after receiving the flu shot can last for up to 1-2 days after receiving the vaccine. If you repeatedly experience soreness after the flu vaccine, you can take ibuprofen 2 hours prior to the vaccine. You can also ice your arm to reduce redness and swelling at the injection site.
Even if you received the flu shot last year, you should still protect yourself with a new vaccination this year. We hope you have a healthy fall season! If you need to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists, contact us today.
What Should I Do If I Think I Am Having A Severe Reaction To A Flu Vaccine
If you think it is a severe allergic reaction or other emergency that cant wait, call 9-1-1 and get to the nearest hospital. Otherwise, call your doctor.
Afterward, the reaction should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System . Your doctor might file this report, or you can do it yourself through the VAERS websiteexternal icon, or by calling 1-800-822-7967.
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Why Does My Arm Hurt After A Flu Shot
- Lung Health and Diseases
Getting a shot at the doctor’s office might not be the most enjoyable experiencewith the needle and the doctor and that pesky arm pain that can come after for somebut vaccination is necessary to help your body defend itself against dangerous diseases, including seasonal influenza . There’s a reason CDC recommends everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu shot each year: Anyone can get the flu and it can hit hard. The 2017-2018 flu season particularly demonstrated the impact: Around 80,000 Americans lost their lives due to influenza and 900,000 people were hospitalized.
The flu shot is safe, and you cannot get the flu from the flu shot. Most people have little or no reaction to the flu shot and the most common side effect is some discomfort in your arm hours after receiving the vaccination, including soreness, redness and/or swelling. A sore arm is much better than catching the actual influenza viruswhich can knock you out for days or weeks with high fever, cough and muscle achesbut why do some people experience this particular side effect of the flu shot?
How Is It Diagnosed
Talk to your doctor if you have bad pain or trouble moving your shoulder after you get vaccinated in the upper arm.
Theyâll ask you about your symptoms, and they may do a physical exam. They might do tests to rule out other conditions that could bring on similar symptoms, like an infection or a rheumatic disease like arthritis.
They may also recommend imaging tests like:
- Ultrasound. This uses sound waves to take a picture inside your body.
- MRI. This uses a magnet and radio waves to see inside your body.
They doctor might diagnose you with SIRVA if:
- Your shoulder felt fine before the vaccine shot.
- Your symptoms started within a certain number of hours of days afterward.
- The symptoms are only in the arm and shoulder area where you got jabbed.
- Tests donât spot signs of another health problem that would explain the symptoms.
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Does This Happen With All Immunizations
It can. Not everyone gets a sore arm from every vaccine, but different factors like how the vaccine is injected matter. An intramuscular shot like the flu, COVID-19, or tetanus shot tends to cause more arm soreness than a subcutaneous vaccine, which just goes under you skin, like the measles-mumps-rubella-varicella vaccine , Dr. Schaffner says.
Your body’s individual response also comes into play, Aline Holmes, DNP, NP, an associate professor at the Rutgers School of Nursing, tells Health. “It’s really specific to your body,” she says. “A lot of people get shots and have absolutely no reaction to them Others do.”
RELATED: CDC Director Warns Flu Season Could Be ‘Severe’ This YearHere’s Why, and How to Protect Yourself
Headache And Other Aches And Pains
After your shot, you might have headaches or some achiness and pain in the muscles throughout your body. This also usually happens on the first day and goes away within two days. Taking pain relievers can help ease your discomfort.
Its controversial whether its safe to take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to treat these vaccine side effects.
Some research suggests that these medications might change or decrease how your body responds to the vaccine. One study involving children found that taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen didnt reduce the bodys response to the flu vaccine.
Other research is mixed. Its still unclear whether these medications should be avoided.
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How Is The Flu Vaccine Given
- Kids younger than 9 years old will get two doses of flu vaccine, spaced at least 1 month apart, if they’ve had fewer than two doses before July 2019. This includes kids who are getting the flu vaccine for the first time.
- Those younger than 9 who had at least two doses of flu vaccine will only need one dose.
- Kids older than 9 need only one dose of the vaccine.
Talk to your doctor about how many doses your child needs.
Soreness After A Flu Shot
While we admit that a little bit of pain is better than the flu, we also know that pain in your shoulder after a flu shot can be alarming to some. When you receive a flu shot, antigens are being injected into your body. These antigens serve as a signal to our body to start producing antibodies that aid in protecting us from infection, a signal received from the dead virus strains in the vaccine.
Your body, therefore, detects the virus as a threat and begins to fight it, even though the virus in the vaccine cannot hurt you. The soreness in your arm is part of this signal in response to the flu vaccination.
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Flu Vaccine For Frontline Health And Social Care Workers
If you’re a frontline health and social care worker, your employer should offer you a flu vaccine. They may give the vaccine at your workplace.
You can also have an NHS flu vaccine at a GP surgery or a pharmacy if:
- you’re a health or social care worker employed by a registered residential care or nursing home, registered homecare organisation or a hospice
- you work in NHS primary care and have direct contact with patients this includes contractors, non-clinical staff and locums
- you provide health or social care through direct payments or personal health budgets, or both
Is The Nasal Spray As Effective As The Flu Shot
In the past, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended against getting the nasal spray vaccine.
The reason for this was because studies in children found that it was less effective than the flu shot for protecting against the 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza strains.
However, there have been recent advances in the production of the nasal spray vaccine.
Since the 2018 to 2019 flu season, the
- people with underlying health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, or cancer
- those with weakened immune systems
- individuals living in a nursing home or long-term care facility
Getting your flu shot is also particularly important in light of COVID-19. Both the flu and COVID-19 have similar symptoms and will circulate within communities this winter.
While the flu vaccine wont protect you from COVID-19, it can help prevent you from getting the flu.
In addition to keeping you out of the doctors office, this can also conserve medical resources for those that have COVID-19 or other health conditions.
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Why Is Your Arm Sore
The flu shot introduces influenza virus components into your body. This can be in the form of an inactivated virus or single viral proteins.
The goal is for your immune system to make antibodies to fight off these viral components. These antibodies can then protect you against an actual influenza infection.
While the flu shot cannot cause you to become sick with the flu, your immune system still recognizes whats been injected into you as foreign.
As a result, it produces an immune response, which leads to the soreness or swelling that occurs near the injection site.
What Is The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
Medical appointments, treatments, medications, therapies, and other modalities associated with SIRVA can be expensive. Add other costly outcomes, such as lost wages and productivity due to prolonged pain and disability, and costs increase.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is a federal no-fault compensation program that was created, in part, to compensate individuals who suffer vaccine-related injuries. The NVICP draws on funds from the National Vaccine Injury Trust Fund to provide compensation for those who have been injured by a vaccine.
Petitioning for compensation through the NVICP is a legal process.
If you think that you has suffered a vaccine injury, contact our knowledgeable team at Conway Homer P.C. for expert legal assessment, help and representation.
We have specialized in vaccine injury litigation for over 25 years.
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Do You Have A Vaccine Shoulder Injury
Shoulder Tendonitis after a Flu shot? You’re not alone – it is one of the most common vaccine shoulder injuries eligible for compensation under the VICP.
shoulder pain after a vaccine?
Shoulder Tendonitis from vaccine administration happens often.
View our eBook below for everything you need to know.
Can You Prevent Arm Pain Before Your Flu Vaccine
There aren’t really any good hacks to lower your risk of arm pain ahead of time, Jamie Alan, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology at Michigan State University, tells Health. “You can pre-medicate with something like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, but there is some evidence that taking these medications may make vaccinations less effective,” she says.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention backs this up: In listing out considerations to take before getting your COVID-19 vaccine specifically, the CDC says it’s “not recommended” to take over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen before you get the vaccine to prevent side effects. That’s because “it is not known how these medications might affect how well the vaccine works,” the CDC says.
Basically, without a ton of conclusive evidence on how, if, or why pain relievers may impact vaccine effectiveness, you’ll probably want to err on the side of caution and skip them before your shot .
Another tip: Alan says it’s a good idea to relax your arm “as much as possible” before your shot to keep your muscles from tensing and prevent the needle from having to work a little harder to get in there.
And, while this won’t necessarily change whether you’re sore or not after, it’s generally a good idea to get your vaccine in your non-dominant arm, Dr. Schaffner says. “If you do get a sore arm, it will interfere less with your function,” he says. “You can write more easily and do the usual things.”
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In 2020 The Flu Shot Was *a Bit* Better
The influenza vaccine is estimated to have been 39 percent effective during the 2019 to 2020 season, according to the CDC. To put that into a broader context, the flu shot generally provides about a 65 percent protection rate against contracting the flu, Dr. Adalja says.
So while even that 39 percent figure might sound low to you, it’s actually a decent number, and it does not mean you should skip your yearly shot . Flu season typically starts in October, peaks in December, and can stick around until May, so you want to be covered for all of it.
Just because the vaccine isnt 100 percent doesnt mean its worthless, says Dr. Adalja. And even if you do get the flu, you are much less likely to have a severe case requiring hospitalization, less likely to have major destruction to your life, and less likely to spread it.
Who Can Have The Flu Vaccine
The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to people who:
- are 50 and over
- have certain health conditions
- are pregnant
- are in long-stay residential care
- receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
- live with someone who is more likely to get infections
- frontline health or social care workers
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Who Should Not Have The Flu Vaccine
Most adults can have the flu vaccine, but you should avoid it if you have had a serious allergic reaction to a flu vaccine in the past.
You may be at risk of an allergic reaction to the flu vaccine injection if you have an egg allergy. This is because some flu vaccines are made using eggs.
Ask a GP or pharmacist for a low-egg or egg-free vaccine.
If you’re ill with a high temperature, it’s best to wait until you’re better before having the flu vaccine.
Where To Get The Flu Vaccine
You can have the NHS flu vaccine at:
- your GP surgery
- a pharmacy offering the service
- your midwifery service if you’re pregnant
- a hospital appointment
If you do not have your flu vaccine at your GP surgery, you do not have to tell the surgery. This will be done for you.
It’s important to go to your vaccination appointments unless you have symptoms of COVID-19.
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What Can You Do To Limit Your Discomfort
Before the shot:
- Take three to five deep breaths. This will help relax your muscles, including your deltoid.
- Distract yourself. Eat some sugary candy or chew gum. This will release feel-good chemicals called endorphins that can reduce your perception of pain.
- Limit your psychological discomfort. Look away if youre afraid of needles. Tell the health care provider that you dont want to know when he or she is about to deliver the shot.
- Choose wisely: Ask to get the shot in your non-dominant arm. That way, you wont aggravate the muscle as you do day-to-day activities.
- Use a pain reliever: Ice your arm for a few minutes and take acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
After the shot:
- Apply pressure. Compression can be helpful for reducing inflammation.
- Use cold and warm compresses. Ice the area to reduce any swelling. After a few days, try a warm compress to relax your deltoid muscle and improve your blood flow.
- Use a pain reliever. Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen if pain develops in the days after you get the shot.
- Keep moving. Use your arm, dont baby it. You want to get blood flowing to the area.
Getting your annual flu shot can protect you, your loved ones, and those around you from the flu and its complications. You may experience some soreness in the days after getting vaccinated, but the tips weve provided here should help you recover. If you develop more serious complicationssuch as a high fever, wheezing, hives, or weaknesscall your doctor or seek medical attention.