What to Expect After Getting the Flu Shot

Different people have different experiences getting the flu shot. Different side effects can be associated with the flu shot and LAIV.

Live attenuated influenza vaccine is a type of influenza vaccine. It is an attenuated vaccine. This is in contrast to most influenza vaccines, which are inactivated vaccines. Both forms of vaccine (live attenuated and inactivated) are typically trivalent. That is, they contain material from three different influenza virus strains.
The flu shot contains viruses that are killed (inactivated), so you cannot get the flu from a flu shot. Some minor side effects include:

  • Soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
  • Fever (low grade)
  • Aches

If these problems occur, they begin soon after the shot and usually last 1 to 2 days. Almost all people who receive influenza vaccine have no serious problems from it. However, on rare occasions, flu vaccination can cause serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions.

The nasal spray (LAIV or FluMist): The viruses in the nasal-spray vaccine are weakened and do not cause severe symptoms often associated with influenza illness.
In children, side effects from LAIV include:

  • runny nose
  • wheezing
  • headache
  • vomiting
  • muscle aches
  • fever

In adults, side effects from LAIV include:

  • runny nose
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • cough

More information about the safety of flu vaccines is available at Influenza Vaccine Safety.

Insurance doesn’t cover your Flu Shot? Good news! You can use our card at your local pharmacy to receive a discount on your vaccination. You can print a FREE prescription discount card right from this page. Look to the top of your screen and print a discount card. Bring it to your pharmacy to receive discounts at point of sale!

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