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Flu Shot: Influenza Vaccine and Side Effects


What are some flu shot side effects?

You can experience low-grade fever and aching after getting any flu vaccine.  After getting a flu shot some people can also experience soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given.

Serious side effects from the flu vaccine are very rare. If they do occur, it's within a few minutes to a few hours after getting the shot. 

It is important to note that the benefits of getting a flu shot far outweigh the risk of flu shot side effects.

Who can receive the nasal influenza vaccine?

The FluMist influenza vaccine is only recommended for healthy individuals ages 2 to 49. Because FluMist influenza vaccine contains weakened strains of live virus, it is not recommend for the following groups:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children under age 5 who have recurrent wheezing
  • Children and teens receiving aspirin
  • Anyone with a medical condition that places him or her at high risk for complications from influenza, including people with chronic heart or lung disease (such as asthma), diabetes, kidney disease, or a weakened immune system



What are the side effects of FluMist influenza vaccine?

Side effects from FluMist nasal spray in children can include:

  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle aches
  • Fever

Side effects from FluMist nasal spray in adults can include:

  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Sore throat

How can I find a flu shot this year?

To find a flu-shot clinic near you, visit the Flu Near You web site, a project of Boston Children’s Hospital in partnership with the American Public Health Association and the Skoll Global Threats Fund.


WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on August 27, 2013
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