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Getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever during COVID times
Flu Vaccination Side Effects
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Flu shots side effects (if any) tend to be mild, and if you develop flu-like symptoms, its effects are expected to be weaker than getting the "live" version of the virus. Some reactions to the flu vaccine may include:
- General malaise, or feeling "under the weather."
- Muscle aches
- Localised swelling, sore arm, itchiness or redness
- Feeling tired
Reactions to the flu shot should clear up by themselves within two to three days.
Severe influenza vaccine side effects such as anaphylaxis is a rare occurrence. The risk of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to inactivated influenza vaccine is similar to other vaccines and estimated at 1.35 per million doses.
The nurses at Corporate Care will walk you through a full consultation process before administering the shot to ensure utmost safety.
Although it is rare, allergic reactions to flu vaccination may happen
Like any other medication, someone may have a severe allergic reaction to a component in the vaccine. We recommend seeking immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following signs following the administration of the influenza vaccination.
- Stomach pain, vomiting or nausea
- Losing consciousness or blacking out
- Swelling around the throat, tongue, lips or eyes
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty in swallowing or speaking
- Hoarse voice
You must stay near the person that administered the flu shot for at least 15 minutes in case you develop any flu shot symptoms. This is what we call "observation time."
All our immunisation nurses carry an emergency kit and are well prepared to administer adrenaline should a severe reaction (anaphylactic reaction) to the flu vaccine occur.
How to Better Manage Flu Injection Side Effects
It's not uncommon to develop a sore arm after getting the flu shot. We often recommend our customers to move their arm in circular motion regularly, so the vaccine isn't quite concentrated in one place.
Over the counter painkillers such as paracetamol may help reduce the pain from a flu shot sore arm. If the pain persists for more than two days, it's best to speak with your local GP or pharmacist to ensure you are not experiencing an Adverse Event Following Influenza Administration (AEFI).
Also, some may experience mild fever after a flu jab which is considered a physical response. Some recommendations to recover from this fever include drinking enough fluids, rest, keep yourself cool. If the fever persists for more than two days, it's time to schedule an appointment with your GP. If you are concerned at all, you can always contact Health Direct on 1800 022 222.
In emergencies, you must immediately call triple 000 and follow their advice.
Is Getting Sick After Flu Shots Normal?
Generally speaking, flu vaccinations are safe and do not lead to serious side effects. In rare cases, it may cause an allergic reaction. While these reactions can be life-threatening, the Immunisation Nursing team at Corporate Care have emergency protocols in place to deal with such situations.
Millions of Australians get flu jabs every year and do not experience any complications at all.
Flu shots do not give you the flu. Therefore, an individual getting the flu from a jab is not possible. The virus in a vaccine is inactivated, meaning they do not contain the 'live' virus, rendering the flu vaccine safe. However, there can still be mild after flu shot symptoms, which should go away after a few days.
Once you receive the flu shot, it takes around two weeks to generate enough antibodies to fight off the flu strains found in the vaccine administered (Type A and Type B strains).
This immune response may cause mild flu-like symptoms that can often be alleviated with over the counter Paracetamol or Ibuprofen (Always consult with your doctor or pharmacist for medical advice before taking any medication. Check the label for the correct dose - especially when giving medications to children. Please ensure you also read the Product and Consumer Medicine Information).
There's no reason to avoid getting the flu shot because you think it'll make you sick. We strongly recommend speaking with a healthcare professional to answer any of your concerns or question about the flu.
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What if I have the flu shot when I am sick?
Flu shots will not cure existing flu in ill individuals. By nature, vaccines are preventive and work by shielding you from future infections. Individuals who have already been infected can still get sick from it.
Although you can get the shot if you have a mild illness, we recommend that people who have a fever or a moderate or severe illness should delay getting their flu jab. Your immune system may not be able to generate enough antibodies to fend off against a future viral invasion.
If you don't feel well and don't know whether you can have your flu jab, we recommend speaking with your doctor, nurse immuniser or local pharmacist.
For minor illnesses such as colds and similar conditions. The healthcare professional going through the flu consent before administering the vaccine would advise further and provide a recommendation.