Flu shot side effects hurt few
The seasonal flu shot has become an annual ritual for most Americans, who generally follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to undergo the procedure to prevent the spread of the virus. However, the flu shot, which is recommended for most individuals six months and older, occasionally can be accompanied by several minor side effects. Very rarely do people experience side effects from the flu vaccine.
Here are a few side effects associated with flu vaccination:
Fever and nausea
Some individuals may display mild flu-like symptoms, including low-grade fever, aches and nausea after receiving a flu shot. These symptoms are not the development of the flu in response to the shot. They might be due to exposure to the flu before getting the flu shot or the body’s immune response to the shot. They should go away within one or two days. People can treat these symptoms and alleviate discomfort by taking over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Pain around shot location
The most common complaint among people who receive a flu shot is pain, redness or swelling around the site where the shot was given. This reaction is due to the immune system’s response to the inactivated virus. Additionally, part of the reaction may be due to the physical pain caused by the needle at the injection site.
Serious side effects
A very small percentage of patients develop serious side effects after receiving a flu shot, such as allergic reactions to one or more components of the vaccine. People who have severe allergies to eggs or who have gotten allergic reactions in the past should not get a flu shot without a physician’s approval. Some symptoms of allergic reactions include difficulty breathing, tightening of the throat, hives on the skin, lightheadedness, an accelerated heart rate or overall physical weakness. These symptoms usually develop within a few hours of getting the flu shot. Anyone experiencing a potential allergic reaction should contact a Boston doctor immediately to seek medical care.