Bump from flu shot

If you had a flu shot, you may experience some soreness or bruising at the injection site.

This will typically go away within a day or two. However, if you notice any redness or swelling, stop using your flu shot for a few days to see if that resolves your symptoms.

You may also experience symptoms of a reaction to the shot. These include low-grade fever, headache, chills, and muscle aches.

If you have any of these symptoms, you should stop using the shot for a few days to see if your symptoms resolve.

The flu shot is not harmful, but it can lead to side effects. If you feel like you have a reaction to the shot, talk to your doctor about what’s causing it.

If you do have a reaction, you may want to avoid the flu shot all together.

How to get the flu shot?

The flu shot is widely available, and it’s a safe, effective way to protect yourself from the flu.

You can get your flu shot at your doctor’s office, pharmacy, or online.

If you’re not sure where to get it, you can also ask your primary care doctor or family doctor for a recommendation.

The CDC recommends getting the flu shot within 48 hours of getting the flu virus.

The flu shot is particularly effective at preventing the flu-related complications of the flu. This includes:

  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Sinusitis
  • Ear infections
  • Headaches

You can use the vaccine year-round, but the CDC recommends getting the shot in the fall or early winter to help prevent the flu.

There are two different types of flu shots:

  • A liquid vaccine is given in a liquid form.
  • An inactivated vaccine is mixed with a small part of the flu virus.

If you’re not sure which type you have, ask your doctor.

You can also talk to your doctor about getting a booster shot every year.

It’s not advised to get a flu shot if you’re pregnant. It’s also not recommended for children younger than 6 months old.

Potential side effects

The flu shot can cause symptoms that might last for a short time or that you may not even notice.

These can include:

  • A sore, red, or tender spot or area at the injection site.
  • Headache.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Muscle aches.
  • Joint pain.
  • Fever.
  • Achy body.
  • Sore throat.
  • General feeling of illness.

These symptoms can last for a day or two after you’ve received the flu shot.

However, these side effects are less common than with the flu virus itself.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects are rare, but they’re possible with the flu shot.

These include:

  • Blood clots. Blood clots are rare, but they can happen. They’re more common in people who have a history of blood clots. They can also happen in people with a history of diabetes.
  • Allergic reactions. These can happen within minutes of getting the vaccine.
  • Anaphylaxis. This is a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction that requires immediate medical attention.

It’s important to talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing any of these side effects.

They may advise you to stop using the flu shot.

If you experience these side effects, your doctor will likely want you to wait until you’ve had a full day to recover before getting the shot again.

You may also want to avoid the flu shot if you can’t tolerate the vaccine.

What to expect at the doctor’s office?

If you get a flu shot, you may have some discomfort at the injection site. You may also experience some soreness or bruising for a few days.

You may notice some redness and swelling in your arm, too. This is usually temporary.

If your symptoms are severe, call your doctor. Symptoms that require immediate medical attention are:

  • High fever
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Severe vomiting
  • Severe diarrhea

What to expect at home?

If you’re getting a flu shot at home, you may feel some soreness, redness, or bruising at the injection site. You may have some low-grade fever as well.

It can take anywhere from 24 hours to a few days to feel the effects of the flu shot. It may take longer if you have a severe reaction.

If you have a reaction to the shot, it can last for a few days.

Once your symptoms have resolved, you may be able to resume using the shot.

What are the benefits?

The flu vaccine is effective at helping to prevent the flu, as well as other illnesses that can cause flu-like symptoms.

It’s recommended that everyone receive a flu shot each year.

Most adults between the ages of 19 and 64 get a flu shot every year.

Getting the flu shot can help prevent the flu-related complications of the flu:

  • Pneumonias: Pneumonias happen when the air sacs in the lungs become infected and can cause breathing difficulties. They’re the most common type of flu complication.
  • Bronchitis: Bronchitis happens when the airways in your lungs become inflamed. It can cause wheezing and shortness of breath.
  • Sinusitis: Inflammation of the sinus cavities, or sinuses, can cause a sinus infection. You can develop sinusitis from the flu, but it can also result from other conditions.
  • Ear infections: Ear infections can happen when you have a cold that’s caused by the flu. It can lead to problems with hearing and balance.
  • Headaches: Headaches can be caused by a sinus infection, but it can also be caused by the flu.
  • Heart attack: The flu can cause an irregular heartbeat.

The flu vaccine can help lessen the severity of these complications.

People who get the flu shot every year are less likely to get flu-related complications than people who don’t get a flu shot.

The CDC recommends that all people over 65 get a flu shot.

The vaccine may also help prevent the flu from spreading.

If you’re pregnant, you may be at greater risk for complications if you get the flu.

The takeaway

Getting the flu vaccine can help prevent the flu and other infections.

If you’re not sure if you should get the flu vaccine, speak with your doctor. They can help you decide whether it’s right for you.

To avoid the flu, get a flu shot every year when flu season is in full swing.

The CDC recommends that people over age 65 get a flu vaccine each year.

The vaccine can decrease the severity of complications from the flu and prevent the spread of flu among people who get the flu.

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