What Are Common Reactions to the Flu Shot?


Quick Answer

For most people, reactions or side effects to the seasonal flu shot are mild and generally involve redness, swelling or soreness at the place the shot was injected, states MedicineNet. These side effects generally do not last longer than two days.

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Full Answer

Far less commonly, people may develop symptoms such as fever or aches after having a flu shot, indicates MedicineNet. This sometimes leads people to believe that the flu shot gave them the flu, but that is not possible, because the vaccine contains dead or inactivated virus particles that cannot infect an individual. These symptoms usually resolve themselves within one or two days.

Very rarely, an individual may experience an allergic reaction in response to a flu vaccine, states MedicineNet. Signs of an allergic reaction may include pale skin, hives, trouble breathing, rapid heart rate or dizziness. Individuals who are allergic to eggs are more likely to have an allergic reaction to the flu shot because the vaccines are made from viruses that are grown inside chicken eggs.

In exceptionally rare circumstances, an individual may get Guillain-Barré syndrome as a reaction to a flu shot, according to MedicineNet. GBS is a neurological condition that may cause nerve damage or weakness in the body.

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