Where Can I Get My Flu Shot
Due to the vast number of flu vaccines administered on an annual basis, individuals can receive a flu shot just about anywhere. Doctors offices, hospitals, pharmacies, schools and even grocery stores, receive flu shots for administration to the general public.
While individuals have numerous options for where to be vaccinated against the flu, it is important to note that some options may be safer than others and, in any case, individuals may run the risk of suffering a shoulder injury related to vaccine administration .
Why Is The Shot Given In Your Arm
Muscle tissue, like that found in your arm, has a high concentration of blood vessels. This allows the cells of your immune system to effectively access and process the contents of the vaccine.
I Just Got The Flu Shot Why Does My Arm Hurt
Influenza, or the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a viral infection of the nose, throat, and lungs. The virus travels from person to person through infectious droplets expelled from the nose or mouth, but chances of contracting the virus decrease between 40-60% with the administration of a flu shot. Some individuals suffer pain following vaccination, but there are ways to lower the likelihood of experiencing flu shot pain.
Many people experience pain after receiving the vaccination. Flu shot pain is the sensory response to the immune systems process of producing antibodies and developing immunity, which is what prevents a vaccinated individual from contracting the disease.
With general fear of muscle pain and as much as 10% of the US population suffering from a fear of needles, many people shy away vaccination each year. Pain, however, is minimal and should not last more than a few days. Although it might seem unavoidable, there are some ways to reduce the risk of shoulder pain and muscle soreness following vaccination.
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How To Treat A Sore Arm After Vaccination
Although a sore arm after COVID shots is temporary, there are a few things you can do at home to help treat a sore arm after your vaccine:
- Use a cold compress on the injection site
- Move your arm around frequently throughout the day
- Take over-the-counter pain medications, such as Advil and Tylenol if approved by your provider
- Use antihistamines such as Benadryl if you experience itchiness
Unless you have a health condition that prevents you from taking certain OTC pain relievers, such as a bleeding condition or liver or kidney problems, you may find relief from arm soreness as well as certain other vaccine side effects such as headache or fatigue.
However, you want to avoid taking OTC pain medications before your vaccine in anticipation of side effects. While it may decrease your arm soreness, the local inflammation is beneficial to the development of a vigorous immune response and anti-inflammatory drugs may reduce this beneficial response, Dr. Anderson explains.
Why Do Some People Not Feel Well After Getting A Flu Shot
Flu vaccine side effects are generally mild and go away on their own within a few days. Some side effects that may occur from a flu shot include soreness, redness, and/or swelling where the shot was given, headache , fever, nausea, muscle aches, and fatigue. The flu shot, like other injections, can occasionally cause fainting.
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What Arm Should I Get My Flu Shot In
Dr. Mora recommends getting the flu shot in the arm you use the least. “That way if you are writing or doing day-to-day activities, you’re not aggravating the muscle even more,” she says.Some other ways to reduce pain include trying not to tense your arm while you’re being vaccinated and moving your arm after vaccination to increase blood flow and help disperse the vaccine throughout the area.
How Much It Hurts May Depend On How The Shot Was Administered
Slow injections may cause more pain, according to research published in the journal Vaccine. Researchers compared pain measurements in slow versus fast injections among infants and found that a faster shot reduced injection-induced pain when it came to certain vaccines, including the flu shot. A slower injection time means more time for the needle to be in contact with the skin, which could lead to the needle moving around more or even potentially cause muscle tissue damage, both of which make you feel sorer.
While you cant exactly predict the style of the person giving you the shot, try stroking or applying gentle pressure to the skin near the injection site during the shot, said Michael Grosso, chief medical officer at Huntington Hospital in Huntington, New York. Just give the nurse or pharmacist a heads up if you want to do this step before they get started. They may opt to do it for you so that you dont accidentally get pricked.
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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.
Ask Dr Ellie: I Can’t Shake The Pain After My Flu Vaccine
17:02 EDT, 1 August 2015 | Updated:
Q: Last November I had a flu jab, and ever since then my whole arm has felt painful. I am a 65-year-old man and Im in fairly good health, but I have been under a lot of stress as my wife is coping with a long-term illness. Have you any idea what could have caused my problem?
A: The aim of a flu vaccination is to prevent debilitating illnesses, particularly in those who are weak or caring for others, but there is always a risk that preventative medicine will give you side effects. These jabs dont usually cause any problems at all the most common side effects are mild aches and pains. This would only be transient and certainly not expected many months later.
Flu injections are always given in the muscle, rather than just under the skin. This helps the vaccine to work better but is also to prevent local side effects such as irritation, skin changes and hard-lump formation known as a granuloma.
The aim of a flu vaccination is to prevent debilitating illnesses, but there is always a risk that preventative medicine will give you side effects. File photo
Flu injections should be given in the thickest part of the deltoid muscle at the top of the arm if the injection is given too superficially, it is certainly possible an abscess or granuloma can develop, and this can cause pain.
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What About People Who Get A Seasonal Flu Vaccine And Still Get Sick With Flu Symptoms
There are several reasons why someone might get flu symptoms, even after they have been vaccinated against flu.
Pain In Arm After Flu Shot
I had a flu shot Sept. 2008 and remember it hurt when given. Since then I have pain in my upper arm and shoulder . I believe it is nerve damage from the needle going to deep. I have had an MRI. meds and now going to Chiro with no relief. I cant’t put my arm behind my back or lift it over my head and forget about putting weight on it. Does anyone know of relief for this condition?
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Are There Any Other Options For The Flu Vaccine Besides Getting A Shot
In addition to the flu shot, a nasal spray vaccine is also available. You may see this vaccine referred to as FluMist or the live attenuated influenza vaccine .
This vaccine is sprayed into your nose. Unlike the flu shot, it contains active influenza viruses. However, these vaccine viruses have been weakened so they wont cause an infection.
Like the flu shot, the nasal spray has some potential side effects. These can be different in adults and children and can include:
The nasal spray vaccine is approved for individuals ages 2 to 49. Its not recommended for certain groups, such as pregnant people and those with a weakened immune system.
If youre interested in receiving the nasal spray vaccine, talk with your doctor about whether its a safe option for you.
Getting To Know Your Annual Flu Shot
The flu shot is one of the most common vaccines in the United States. Each year, nearly half of all Americans are vaccinated against the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that flu shots, on average, reduce the risk of getting the flu by 50 to 60 percent. According to the CDC, flu vaccine is the best way to reduce your chances of getting the flu and spreading it to others. As a result, the CDC recommends that every person six months of age and older receive a flu shot every year.
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How Long Do Vaccinations Last
The list below outlines the usual duration of protection once the vaccination course is complete. For some vaccines, the duration of protection is uncertain.
- Chickenpox long-term
- Cholera – up to 2 years
- Diphtheria – 10 years
- Flu vaccine – up to 1 year
- Hepatitis A – Probable lifetime protection
- Hepatitis B – Lifetime
- Japanese B Encephalitis – 2 years to , depending on the vaccine used
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella – Life time
- Meningitis – new conjugate vaccines give up to 5 years protection
- Pneumonia – > 5 years, probably life time
- Polio booster – Life time
- Rabies – Immune memory persists for life booster doses needed only
- Tetanus – 5-10 years
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.
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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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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.
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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.
After Getting The Vaccine
While getting a vaccine is never much fun, the protection you receive from the flu shot will help keep your family and community healthy during a challenging flu season.
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How To Treat A Sore Arm After Your Shot
As stated before, if you have a sore arm after your COVID-19 vaccine, it should only last for a few days. But If youre uncomfortable, there are a few things you can do to help:
- Move your arm after your shot. Using your arm and making a point to move it often after youve been vaccinated stimulates blood flow to the area. It can also help reduce soreness, according to Richard Watkins, MD. Dr. Watkins is an infectious disease specialist and a professor of internal medicine at the Northeast Ohio Medical University.
- Try a cool compress. Applying a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area may help reduce soreness, Valdez says. This may bring down the inflammation, much like when you ice your knees after exercise or injury, she says.
- Continue using your arm. It can be tough if youre uncomfortable, but stretching and continuing to use your arm can help minimize or reduce soreness, Watkins says.
The CDC recommends talking to your doctor about taking over-the-counter medicines, like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, or antihistamines, for arm soreness and other post-vaccination pain. Do not take these medications if you have any condition that would normally prevent you from taking them.
While You Cannot Contract The Flu From The Flu Shot Vaccines Like Any Medication Come With The Risk Of Side Effects
Common side effects include: Soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given low grade fever muscle aches or toughness/itching at the injection site. These reactions typically present soon after the flu shot and last one to two days.
If you experience a life-threatening allergic reaction, such as breathing problems hoarseness or wheezing hives paleness weakness increased heart rate or dizziness, seek medical attention immediately.
In some cases, symptoms of reaction persist and can develop into long-term illnesses.
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