The influenza vaccine, commonly known as the flu shot, is administered on an annual basis to protect against the influenza virus (the flu). Just like any form of medication, vaccines can cause mild to severe side effects. Understanding the risks of the flu shot and flu symptoms will assist you in taking the most effective approach.
Mild Problems Associated with the Flu Shot
Possible mild symptoms after a flu shot include a fever, aching, cough, red or itchy eyes, and/or soreness, swelling or redness where the shot was administered. These symptoms of flu shots tend to last 1-2 days after the shot.
More Severe Problems Associated with the Flu Shot
Though less common, symptoms of a flu shot can be severe in some cases. For instance, very few people have life-threatening allergies to flu shots, which occur within minutes or hours after the shot has been administered.
Flu Shot Symptoms in Children
Children who are 8 years of age or younger should not be given the flu vaccine known as Afluria. Consult with health care professionals to determine which flu symptoms after a flu shot may occur in children of different ages. Flu shot symptoms in adults will vary from flu shot symptoms in babies for instance. While preventative measures against the flu are important, you’ll want to make sure that you and your family are given vaccines that have been proven safe for different age groups.
Reports have shown that children and adolescents between the ages of 2 and 17 have reported the following symptoms after a flu shot:
- Abdominal pain
- Occasional vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Muscle aches
- Nasal congestion
SEE ALSO: Flu Symptoms in Children
Flu Shot Symptoms in Adults
Reports show that adults ages 18 to 49 sometimes experience the following symptoms from flu shot:
- Sore throat
- Nasal congestion
In other words, flu-like symptoms after a flu shot can persist for a few days. If symptoms last longer than a few days or feel severe, your doctor should be consulted immediately.
Don’t miss to read: Flu Symptoms in Adults: Identifying Them
Swine Flu Shot Symptoms
The flu shot symptoms associated with swine flu vaccinations and common influenza vaccines are similar. In both types of influenza, the flu shot does cause flu symptoms in some cases.
Individuals at Higher Risk for Complications
Those at higher risk for flu symptoms after the shot should take extra precautions before taking the vaccine. Persons at higher risk include:
- Those with immunosuppression disorders. Flu shot symptoms in immunosuppressed individuals can be more severe. Even if you don’t suffer from a disorder that compromises your immune system, it is important to give your immune system a boost before taking a flu shot.
- Children and adolescents aged 6 months – 18 years
- People aged 50 years and older
- Obese individuals
- Pregnant women
- Alaska Natives/American Indians
- Residents of long-term care facilities such as nursing homes
- Health care professionals or others with greater exposure to people with illnesses