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Friday, October 22, 2010

WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF THE FLU SHOT?

By JC Leahy, RN, BSN, MA
When you get an influenza shot, your body reacts.  It’s supposed to react.  The flu shot makes your body produce defenses (antibodies) for fighting the flu.  That way, you will be less likely to actually get sick with the flu.  That’s the good bodily reaction.  It’s the intended reaction.
There are also some potential unwanted reactions to getting a flu shot.  These are called “adverse reactions” or “side effects.”  Adverse reactions to getting an influenza innoculation are uncommon, and when they do occur they are almost always minor.  Minor side effects of getting a flu shot include:
  • Slight redness and soreness at the injection site
  • Rhinorrhea (nasal congestion)
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Slight fever
Minor side effects, if they occur at all, usually last for no more than a couple of days.



More serious adverse reactions to getting a flu shot are rare. Usually their onset is immediate or within a couple of hours after receiving the influenza shot.   Some adverse reactions include allergic reactions to things contained in the flu vaccine.  For this reason, you should consult your physician before getting a flu shot if you are allergic to eggs,  Thimersal or phenol.    Rare but more serious side effects include:
  • Difficulty breathing, hoarseness, wheezing
  • Hives
  • Significant swelling
  • Paleness
  • Weakness
  • Fast heart beat
  • Dizziness
If you experience any of these serious side effects, phone your physician right away or go to the nearest emergency room.
FYI, there is a Federal program to compensate anyone injured by a vaccine.  It is called the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.  Their phone number is 800-338-2382.  Their website is www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation
For more information: FURTHER READING


NO CONGRESSIONAL OR SENATORIAL INCUMBENTS ON NOVEMBER 2 !!!

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