Five Flu Shot Side Effects to be Wary Of This Season


Experts from John Hopkins Center for Health Security estimate the current flu shot will have more than a 64% rate for providing protection against getting the flu. Last year the estimate was less than 37%. The vaccine is believed to be a significantly closer match to current circulating flu viruses. Medical experts admit there are possible side effects people may experience when getting the flu vaccine.

1. Shoulder Soreness

Most people will be given the flu shot by an intramuscular injection. This is usually given in a person’s arm. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a person has a 63 percent chance of feeling muscle soreness in their upper arm due to the needle being placed directly into the muscle. This causes microscopic damage to the cells in their muscle where the injection took place. In most cases, people can take over-the-counter pain relievers to alleviate the pain. Should it persist or worsen, one should immediately notify their physician.

2. Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS)

This is a serious autoimmune disorder. It can occur from many different things including viral infections, vaccines and more. GBS will cause a person’s nervous system to be damaged. Individuals with GBS have experienced symptoms like muscle numbness and weakness. It has caused others to struggle to walk or develop an unusual gait. Some people have even experienced paralysis. Over 69 percent of people who get GBS can fully recover from it. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, (NINDS), the recovery time can be weeks and in some cases years. It is estimated two cases of GBS will be experienced per million individuals vaccinated.

3. Fever

Many people will experience a fever after being vaccinated. In almost all cases, it is a low-grade fever. Many experts believe if a person has a serious fever after a flu shot, it is the result of an unrelated illness. This is because most people get their flu shot at the height of the respiratory virus season. Medical experts say there is no chance of a person getting the flu from a flu shot. The CDC says flu vaccines do not contain a live strain of the influenza virus, so they can’t cause a person to get the flu. Rather, they only contain a certain protein from the influenza virus.

4. Itching Or Full-Body Rash

When someone experiences significant itching at the vaccine injection site or a full-body rash, it could be an indication of an allergic reaction. Most experts agree it is uncommon for a person to have an allergic reaction from receiving the flu vaccine. Some people believe if a person has egg allergies, they will get a rash or itching from the flu shot. According to the CDC, if a person can eat scrambled eggs, they’re not going to have such a reaction from the flu shot. Even people who have a confirmed egg allergy can probably get the flu vaccine with no problems.

5. Body Aches

This is a common side effect of getting the flu shot. It is an indication that a person’s immune system is active. It is possible for an individual to feel sore in places on their body other than the injection site. According to the CDC, the flu vaccine will take approximately two weeks to become fully effective. Body aches could also be a sign a person’s body is fighting off the actual flu.

The peak for the flu season is December, and it’s possible it could still be active until May. Many medical experts believe the flu vaccine side effects should not deter anyone from getting the flu shot. However, the side effects are real and the success rate is often questionable. One must carefully weigh the benefits and risks before electing to receive the shot.


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