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Influenza Vaccine (Flu Shot and Nasal Spray) for Adults

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Which Adults Should Not Get the Flu Vaccine? continued...

You should not get the nasal spray flu vaccine if you are in contact with people who have a severely weakened immune system.

If you are moderately to severely ill, your doctor may recommend waiting to get the shot until after you recover. The CDC says you can still get the vaccine if you have a mild illness, such as a cold or low-grade fever.

If you have a stuffy nose, your doctor may recommend that you wait to get the nasal spray flu vaccine, or get the flu shot instead.

Side Effects and Risks for Adult Flu Vaccines

Like all medications, vaccines can have side effects. But the risk of harm or death from the influenza vaccine is rare.

The flu shot and nasal spray can cause different types of side effects.

Flu shot side effects may include:

  • Low fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given

The nasal spray flu vaccine for adults may cause:

  • Cough
  • Headache, muscle aches
  • Runny nose, nasal congestion
  • Sore throat

Rarely, someone may have a severe allergic reaction to an ingredient in the vaccine. Most of the time, such reactions occur within a few minutes to a few hours of receiving the vaccine. The following can be signs of a severe allergic reaction:

  • Behavior changes
  • Breathing difficulty, including wheezing
  • Dizziness
  • Hoarse voice
  • High fever
  • Hives
  • Pale skin
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Weakness

Seek immediate medical care if you notice any of these signs after receiving the influenza vaccine.

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on March 21, 2013
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