What Should I Do If I Have Had A Serious Reaction To Seasonal Flu Vaccine
Tell your doctor what happened, the date and time it happened, and when you got the flu shot.
Ask your doctor, nurse, or health department to file a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System form, or call VAERS at 1-800-822-7967. Reports are welcome from all concerned individuals: patients, parents, health care providers, pharmacists and vaccine manufacturers.
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.
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.
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The Flu Shot May Hurt Less As You Get Older
Though its somewhat an individual thing, in general we should expect injection site pain to be less as we get older as our nervous systems start to wear out, Grosso told HuffPost. Adults can generally engage in self-distraction more effectively than children while avoiding behaviors that make shots hurt more, like tensing up the muscle or keeping the arm still afterwards.
How Long Does Arm Pain Last
For most people, arm pain starts within 24 hours of receiving a vaccination and can last for about a day or two. This experience can vary based on which vaccine you are receiving.
For example, Shingrix tends to cause more intense pain and lasts longer than other shots. Before receiving a vaccination, ask your provider or pharmacist how long arm pain typically lasts for that particular vaccine.
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Can Vaccines Cause Transverse Myelitis
Transverse myelitis from a vaccine is rare. However, there are several vaccines that have been linked to this condition. They include vaccines for seasonal influenza , hepatitis B, measles mumps rubella and diphtheria tetanus pertussis . These vaccines are included in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which helps people with vaccine injuries recover their losses.
When transverse myelitis is caused by a vaccine, the symptoms can begin from a few days up to three months after the vaccination.
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What Serious Side Effects Mean I Should Call My Doctor
The flu vaccine will not give you the flu. However, some people do experience side effects. While redness, swelling, muscle aches and sometimes low-grade fevers are typical side effects after receiving an influenza vaccination, there can be some rare and serious side effects including difficulty breathing and swelling around the eyes or lips. If you are experiencing dizziness, a racing heart or a high fever seek medical attention right away.
“If you develop full body hives, you are having an allergic reaction to the vaccine,” says Dr. Mora. The most common allergic reaction is found in people allergic to eggs. This is because egg proteins are one of the products in the flu vaccine. However, if you have an egg allergy, you can still get the flu shot. Talk to your doctor about the best way to get vaccinated.
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Why Is The Flu Vaccine Recommended
While the flu vaccine isn’t 100% effective, it still greatly lowers a person’s chances of catching the flu, which can be very serious. It also can make symptoms less severe if someone who got the vaccine does still get the flu.
If you got the flu vaccine last year, it can’t provide enough protection this year, because flu viruses change. That’s why the vaccine is updated each year to include the most current types of the virus.
Sometimes the same virus types are included in the vaccine from one year to the next. Even then, it’s still important to get the yearly flu vaccine because the body’s immunity against the influenza virus declines over time.
Getting the flu vaccine not only protects you from the flu. It also helps protect the people and community around you. The flu vaccine makes someone less likely to get the flu, and therefore less likely to spread the flu. Getting the flu vaccine is a great way to protect people who are at risk from flu, such as the elderly, babies, and people with health conditions such as asthma. Every year thousands of people die from influenza, and getting the flu vaccine is one way to help prevent that.
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?
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Are You Contagious After A Flu Shot If You Experience Side Effects
The mild symptoms you might experience after getting vaccinated are an immune response, not the signs of an illness. Thats because even though the flu vaccine contains inactive virus, your immune system still recognizes it as an intruder and creates antibodies. This antibody creation is what can spur side effects, as well as get your body ready for a possible exposure to an active virus.
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.
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Special Consideration Regarding Egg Allergy
People with egg allergies can receive any licensed, recommended age-appropriate influenza vaccine that is otherwise appropriate. People who have a history of severe egg allergy should be vaccinated in a medical setting, supervised by a health care provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic reactions. Two completely egg-free flu vaccine options are available: quadrivalent recombinant vaccine and quadrivalent cell-based vaccine.
Are Side Effects Worse After The Second Covid Vaccine
For many recipients, side effects are worse after the second dose, says Anderson. Local inflammation from the bodys inflammatory response leads to redness, warmth, swelling, and pain at the injection site.
When enough of these substances are released, muscle aches can occur and you begin to feel tired, Anderson explains, With the second dose, your immune system is really fired up and ready to immediately and forcefully respond to the vaccine components. However, he adds, this is a good sign your body is mounting a strong immune response. And if you dont have any side effects from the vaccine, it doesnt mean the vaccine didnt work or that you have a weak immune system. The protective immunity afforded by the vaccines takes longer to develop and isnt associated with these side effects, Anderson says.
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Signs That Its Time To Call A Doctor For Your Back Pain
Most people have experienced back pain at some point in their lives. Its actually the leading cause of disability worldwide and the most common reason people call out of work. Back pain can come in many different forms, ranging from a dull ache that lasts only a few days to severe pain that lasts for weeks.
Depending on the intensity of the pain, there are many treatments you can try at home to help. But how do you know when its time to stop home remedies and see a physician?
If any of the following applies to your back pain, then its time to make an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible.
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Myth #: I Dont Need The Vaccine I Never Get The Flu
Fact: Unfortunately, a flu-free history does not guarantee a flu-free future. Flu strains evolve and change over time, which means you are at risk every year you avoid getting vaccinated. In addition, when you skip your shot you can still carry and pass flu germs to others.
Influenza symptoms can leave us stuck in bed for days using up valuable vacation time. I always ask patients, why not save up those days for a sunny vacation instead?
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Why You May Feel Arm Pain After Receiving Any Vaccine
When you receive a vaccine, your body initially thinks its been injured, similar to when you get a cut or scrape. It sends immune system cells to your arm any time your skin is broken to investigate what happened. Once your immune cells realize theres an invader in this case, the vaccine in your arm, they signal your body to relax the blood vessels around the area and send more immune cells to help fight.
This process is called vaccine reactogenicity. It allows your immune system to create antibodies infection-fighting proteins that will help prevent you from getting sick if you ever come into contact with the real virus or bacteria. Part of this process includes producing inflammation. The more inflammation your body creates, the more sore and swollen your arm will be.
What Are The Possible Side Effects Of The Flu Vaccine
Both types of vaccine can cause mild side effects.
- The flu shot usually is given as an injection in the upper arm or thigh . It contains killed flu virus and can’t cause someone to get the flu. But it can cause soreness, redness, or swelling at the injection site. Rarely, it might cause a low fever or body aches.
- The nasal spray flu vaccine contains weakened live flu viruses. So it may cause mild symptoms, such as a runny nose, wheezing, sore throat, vomiting, or tiredness. Like the shot, it can sometimes cause a low fever or body aches.
Sometimes, people faint after getting a shot, especially teens. It helps to sit or lie down for 15 minutes right after a shot to prevent this.
If your child has any side effects, talk to your doctor about giving either acetaminophen or ibuprofen and to find out the right dose.
A warm, damp cloth or a heating pad on the injection site may help ease soreness, as can moving or using the arm.
Very rarely, the flu vaccine can cause a serious allergic reaction.
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What Exactly Is Sirva
Ken Donohue, MD, a Yale Medicine orthopedic surgeon and shoulder specialist, explains to Health that SIRVA is an extremely rare condition in which pain and loss of function in the shoulder occurs following a vaccinationusually within 48 hours of administration of an injection in people who had no shoulder issues prior to injection. It can result in shoulder pain, weakness, stiffness or nerve inflammation . In very rare cases, it can result in nerve injury.
Just how uncommon is it? I have seen very few cases of this in my patients as an orthopedic shoulder specialist, Dr. Donohue maintains. And because it is so rare, there is little information available about it.
According to a 2012 case report published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, the concept that adverse reactions, specifically those involving the shoulder, are very rare. At the time of the report, researchers noted that only a single article on the concept existed. Seven years later, research is still incredibly limited.
While any sort of vaccination can lead to SIRVA, researchers found the majority were the result of the influenza vaccine. According to the report, nearly all who have reported such an injury, developed it within 24 hours.
Why Does The Flu Shot Hurt So Much
If you got your flu shot recently, your arm likely felt as though it had been sucker punched in the days afterward.
While that soreness shouldnt be a reason you dont get a flu shot because again, you really should go get one if you havent yet it turns out there are a few factors that influence whether or not your flu shot may cause discomfort in the day or two after getting one.
Below, experts explain the reason your flu shot hurts so badly and what you can do to relieve the pain a bit:
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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.
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.
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