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Possible Side Effects Of Influenza Vaccination

Clinical Skills: Administering Vaccinations

You may experience minor side effects following vaccination. Most reactions are mild and last no more than a couple of days and you will recover without any problems.

Common side effects of influenza vaccines include:

  • pain, redness, swelling or hardness where the needle went in
  • fever, tiredness, body aches.

Talk to your immunisation provider about possible side effects of the influenza vaccines, or if you or your child have side effects that worry you.

The Consumer Medicine Information available on the Therapeutic Goods Administration website lists the ingredients and side effects of each vaccine.

Myth #: Waiting Until Winter For A Flu Shot Is Safer

Fact: While peak flu season is between December and February, you can get sick as early as October. Some believe that getting vaccinated later will protect them longer, which is simply false. This also leaves you exposed for weeks, or months while the virus is floating around.

Also, an annual flu shot helps your body build immunityfor the types of influenza viruses that research indicates will be the most common that season. But immunity isnt built as soon as you get the shot.

Whos Most At Risk Of Getting The Flu

Typically, children and older people are most at risk of getting sick with influenza. The best way to protect babies who are too young to be vaccinated is to make sure people around them are vaccinated. Occasionally, a flu virus will circulate that disproportionately affects young and middle-age adults.

You also can reduce the spread of the flu and its effects by taking such practical measures as washing your hands, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when youre sick.

The FDA has approved numerous vaccines for the prevention of influenza. But if you do get the flu, there are FDA-approved antiviral drugs, available by prescription, to treat your illness. There are several FDA-approved antiviral drugs recommended by the CDC for use against circulating influenza viruses. These drugs work best if started soon after the onset of symptoms .

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Consider Timing For Coadministration

Flu vaccinations should be offered by the end of October. And for children who need two doses, they should receive their first dose as soon as possible after the vaccine is available because they cant have the second dose until at least four weeks later. The timing of the onset and peak of influenza activity varies from season to season. Within a particular season, this can also vary geographically with localized pockets of activity in some portions of the country are seen before others in any given season.

Over 36 seasons between 1982 and 2018, peak flu activity varied widely. It happened in December and March in 19% of seasons, while it occurred in February in 42% of the seasons. Vaccination should continue throughout the season, as long as influenza viruses are circulating and unexpired vaccine is available.

The AMA has developed frequently-asked-questions documents on COVID-19 vaccination covering safety, allocation and distribution, administration and more. There are two FAQs, one designed to answer patients questions , and another to address physicians COVID-19 vaccine questions .

What Are The Possible Side Effects Of The Flu Vaccine

Intramuscular Deltoid Injection, Artwork Photograph by Peter Gardiner

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 cant 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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Myth #: You Can Get The Flu From The Flu Shot And Other Flu Vaccines

Fact: Many people have questions about the flu shot. Can you get the flu from the flu shot? Can the flu shot make you sick? Is the flu shot a live virus? Can live virus vaccines give you the flu? The answer for all of these is a definite no.

Flu vaccines are made with either inactive virus or weakened virus . Neither can give you the flu, rather theyre designed to help your body know how to fight flu germs.

Both types of vaccines trigger your bodys immune response. Whether the vaccine contains inactive or weakened virus, your immune system 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. And those side effects can easily be mistaken for early flu-like symptoms but its really just a sign that the vaccine is working.

Seasonal Flu: Vaccine And Prevention

Everyone 6 months and older should get a seasonal flu vaccination each year. Seasonal flu vaccines are safe and the most effective way to protect yourself against getting sick.

To maintain your protection, you need a flu vaccine each year. It is best to get vaccinated in the fall, but you can be vaccinated through late spring.

Flu vaccines are widely available at doctors offices, pharmacies, community health clinics and through employer-sponsored programs. Most health insurance plans cover flu vaccination without a co-pay. There are also many ways for New Yorkers without health insurance to get low-cost vaccines, including at NYC H+H sites.

Be sure to call ahead to check for vaccine availability.

Influenza germs are highly contagious and easily transmitted through contact with an infected person who is coughing and sneezing. In addition to getting vaccinated, you can prevent the flu by washing your hands often with soap and water and avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes with unwashed hands.

High-Risk Groups

Everyone should get the flu vaccine every year. People in the following groups are more likely to get severely sick and have complications from seasonal flu, so it is especially important for them to get vaccinated.

  • People living in nursing homes or other care facilities
  • American Indians and Alaskan Natives
  • Flu Vaccine and COVID-19

    Essential workers should also receive a seasonal flu vaccine. This includes:

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    Should I Get A Flu Shot

    The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated every season, with a few rare exceptions. Children between 6 months and 8 years may need two doses during their first season of vaccination. The CDC advises people to get vaccinated by the end of October, though getting a flu vaccine anytime during the flu season can be beneficial.

    Once youre vaccinated, it takes a couple of weeks for your immune system to produce antibodies .

    The CDC says that an annual flu vaccine is especially important for people who face a higher risk of serious flu-related complications, including individuals in certain age groups adults 65 and older and children under 5, especially those under age 2.

    People with certain health conditions also fall into the high-risk category. These include:

    • People who are obese with a body mass index of 40 or higher
    • People younger than 19 on long-term aspirin- or salicylate-containing medicines
    • People with weakened immune systems due to disease or medications
    • People whove had a stroke

    Other high-risk individuals include those who are pregnant or two weeks or less postpartum those living in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities and those from certain racial and ethnic minority groups, including non-Hispanic Black, Latino, and Alaskan Native and Native American.

    Can I Get My Covid

    Live, Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV)

    Yes, the COVID-19 vaccine or booster may be administered at the same time as the flu shot, says the CDC.

    Previously, the agency had recommended that people get their COVID-19 shot at least two weeks before or after any other vaccinations. However, this was out of an abundance of caution during a period when these vaccines were brand new, the CDC states. They no longer have any concerns about getting a COVID-19 shot at the same time as any other vaccine, including the flu shot.

    The same goes for children. If your child is eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine or booster, its safe for them to get the flu shot at the same time.

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    Who Should Receive The Flu Vaccine

    The CDC recommends that every individual over 6 months of age receive the seasonal flu vaccine. While everyone should get a vaccination, it is particularly important for some groups. Vaccination is especially important for people who are at high risk of developing serious complications if they get the flu, such as those with asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease as well as pregnant women and those over 65 years of age. It is also important for caregivers to get vaccinations, in addition to those who live with people in these risk groups.

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    Who Should Be Immunised Against Influenza

    Immunisation against the flu is recommended for everyone aged 6 months and over.

    Some people are more at risk of complications from the flu and are eligible for free vaccination.

    People with an underlying medical condition or reduced immunity are most at risk and should be immunised against the flu. They include:

    • anyone aged 65 years and older
    • all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged from 6 months and over
    • people 6 months or older with:
  • people who are obese
  • people who are addicted to alcohol
  • people who are homeless
  • residents in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities
  • people involved in the commercial poultry and pig industry
  • people who provide essential community services
  • anyone visiting parts of the world where the flu is circulating, especially if travelling in a group.
  • Speak to your immunisation provider to see if you are eligible for a free flu vaccine.

    Some People May Need More Than One Influenza Vaccine Each Year

    9 places to get the flu shot around the Barrie Campus

    There are some people who are recommended to have a second dose of the flu vaccine within the space of one year.

    These include:

    • Children less than 9 years receiving their flu vaccine for the first time require 2 doses 4 weeks apart for an adequate immune response.
    • People who have had a haematopoietic stem cell transplant or solid organ transplant and are receiving the flu vaccine for the first time after transplant.
    • Pregnant women, who may be vaccinated with the next seasonâs flu vaccine if it becomes available in the latter part of their pregnancy, even if they were vaccinated with the previous seasonâs vaccine prior to or earlier in pregnancy.
    • Overseas travellers, who may benefit from a second dose of this seasonâs flu vaccine if going to the northern hemisphere winter and receiving the northern hemisphere formulation there is not feasible.

    Please check with your GP, pharmacist, or other immunisation provider to find out whether you fall into one of these categories.

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    Who Needs A Flu Vaccine

    Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices United States, 2022-2023 Influenza Season has been published. Related updates to this page are forthcoming. CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older in the United States should get a flu vaccine every season with rare exception. More information about the 2022-2023 flu season is also available.

    Are There Any Flu Vaccines Without Needles

    Yes, there are two flu vaccines available without needles: the Afluria Quadrivalent given via the PharmaJet Stratis Needle-Free Injector and the intranasal FluMist vaccine.

    Afluria Quadrivalent can be given via a needle-free jet injector or with a needle.

    • If you are 18 through 64 years of age and are eligible for a flu vaccine, you can request needle-free Afluria. First check with your doctor, clinic, or pharmacy to be sure they have the jet injector. Call your insurance to be sure it is covered, too.
    • Its not 100% pain-free, but the jet injector creates a narrow stream of fluid that goes through the skin, without a needle, given in one-tenth of one second.
    • Children 6 months through 17 years and adults 65 and older can receive Afluria Quadrivalent only by a needle and syringe.

    FluMist is an intranasal flu vaccine spray.

    • FluMist Quadrivalent is a needle-free option that is used in certain populations between the ages of 2 to 49 years to help prevent influenza. It is a liquid vaccine that is sprayed into the nose.
    • Not everyone can use FluMist. Children under 2 years of age cannot use it due to an increased risk of wheezing. Tell your healthcare provider if you are currently wheezing, or have a history of wheezing.
    • In addition, anyone with a severe allergy to eggs, anyone who has had a life-threatening allergic reaction to any flu vaccine, and children 2 through 17 years old who take aspirin or medicines containing aspirin cannot use FluMist.

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    Are Any Of The Available Flu Vaccines Recommended Over Others

    Yes, for some people. For the 2022-2023 flu season, there are three flu vaccines that are preferentially recommended for people 65 years and older. These are Fluzone High-DoseQuadrivalent vaccine, Flublok Quadrivalent recombinantflu vaccine or Fluad Quadrivalent adjuvanted flu vaccine. On June 22, 2022, CDCs Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted unanimously to preferentially recommend these vaccines overstandard-dose unadjuvanted flu vaccines. This recommendation was based on a review of available studies which suggests that, in this age group, these vaccines are potentially more effective than standard dose unadjuvanted flu vaccines. There is no preferential recommendation for people younger than 65 years.

    What Flu Shot Side Effects Are Possible

    Flu Vaccinations

    The most common flu shot side effects include mild soreness, tenderness or a bit of swelling at the injection site. The most common FluMist side effect is a runny nose.

    You may also run a small fever after a flu vaccine, or experience slight headaches or muscle aches. Its very rare for someone to have a serious reaction to the flu vaccine , and there are effective treatments if this happens.

    On the other hand, many experience no flu shot reactions at all! Plus, a day or two of mild discomfort simply doesnt compare to what you can experience with a full bout of the flu. Flu symptom onset is fast and often involves fever, chills, extreme fatigue, muscle aches and more for several days.

    Influenza is serious and it can lead to complications. Older adults, kids and pregnant women are at a higher risk for the flu. But the flu vaccine protects you and those around you from around half of all flu viruses.

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    A Staff Member Inadvertently Administered The Wrong Dosage Of Influenza Vaccine How Do We Correct This

    If a smaller than recommended dose of any inactivated influenza product is inadvertently administered, additional vaccine should be given so that the patient receives a full dose. The amount of vaccine that should be administered is based on when the patient is available to be revaccinated. For example:

    • If a partial dose of an inactivated influenza vaccine product is administered and revaccination can occur on the same clinic day, the patient should receive a remaining volume to total the correct dosage. For example, if the correct dosage for the patient is 0.5 mL and they received only 0.25 mL, an additional 0.25 mL should be given if revaccination can occur on the same day.
    • If the patient cannot be revaccinated until the next day or later, a full dose of inactivated influenza vaccine should be administered as soon as the patient can return.
    • If a larger dose of influenza vaccine is inadvertently administered, count the dose as valid. Revaccination with additional vaccine is not needed.

    Giving an incorrect dose is considered a vaccine administration error. Healthcare personnel should take steps to determine how the error occurred and put strategies in place to prevent it from happening in the future.

    Get Treatment For The Flu

    Do you have flu symptoms, such as fever, body aches, cough, fatigue or sore throat? Get care fast with an Advocate primary care provider. We can evaluate your symptoms and decide whether you need to come in for treatment or a COVID test. Start with a virtual visit to:

    • Speak with one of our providers, available 24/7
    • Schedule a video visit with your provider during regular office hours

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