Influenza vaccine side effects are quite mild as the vaccines have a good track record for safety. These side effects can be resolved quickly and without extensive treatment too, as they cause serious repercussions only in very rare cases.
Learning about such influenza vaccine side effects can help you be prepared for what you might face.
Trivalent Inactivated Influenza Vaccine Side Effects
Minor side effects caused by the Trivalent Inactivated Influenza Vaccine (TIV) can be spotted as soon as the vaccine is administered, and they usually last for a day or two. They include:
- Soreness, pain, redness, and swelling at the site of injection (10-64% of cases)
- Low grade fever
- Malaise (muscle pain and weakness)
- Body aches
- Fainting, mainly in adolescents
Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine Side effects
Mild side effects that result from the Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV) include:
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Mild wheezing
- Muscle aches
- Fever > 100 F and chills
- A sore throat
Influenza Vaccine Side Effects – Some Adverse Results
Influenza vaccine side effects can occasionally include some serious conditions, such as:
- Allergic reactions to vaccine components
- Redness and swelling of the eyes
- Respiratory symptoms like cough and hoarseness of the voice (reported within 24 hours of vaccination)
- Febrile seizures or fits
- Difficulty in breathing
- Swelling around the lips
- Behavioral changes
- Paleness and weakness
- Heart palpitations
- Guillain Barre Syndrome, a serious neurological syndrome that can lead to paralysis
If you observe any of these signs, consult a doctor immediately, as they indicate a need for serious medical attention.
What You Should Know About Influenza Vaccine Side Effects
Be extremely careful before taking the flu vaccine. People who have a prior history of adverse reactions towards the influenza vaccine or people who are allergic to the vaccine’s components (like eggs) should avoid the influenza vaccine.
Also, the injectable flu vaccine must not be administered to children younger than 6 months of age, and the nasal spray flu vaccine is not recommended for children below two years of age. It is also important for clinicians to follow the right technique while administering the flu vaccine.
The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System
Any adverse reaction caused by the flu vaccine should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), a surveillance system co-sponsored by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
It must also be reported to the Food and Drug Administration, which monitors vaccine safety and helps in further investigating the harmful side effect.
Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
Individuals who have had an adverse reaction following the process of vaccination are entitled to compensation from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), which is a federal program.
It is important to note that there is no substance behind the myth that a person can contract the flu through the flu vaccine. This is because the viruses used in the preparation of the vaccine are inactive and cannot multiply in the lungs or cause an infection.
If you are planning to protect yourself against influenza, being aware of the influenza vaccine side effects can turn out to be highly useful.