What Happens After You Get A Flu Shot?

flu shot

No one likes to get sick; we try to avoid it at any cost. Luckily, in today’s society, we have ways to avoid illnesses and diseases–vaccines and immunizations. These inoculations have been attempting to keep the public immune to various infections.

Depending on the illness involved, there are different kinds of vaccinations to help prevent sickness from ever coming near our bodies. These include polio, mumps, measles, diphtheria, chickenpox, and influenza–the flu shot being the most prevailing.

What is Influenza?

Influenza, which is commonly known as the flu, is a virus that can attack the organs in your respiratory systems, such as your throat, your lungs, and your nose. Signs of influenza include fatigue, aches, congestion, fever, headaches, and more. Complications from this ailment can also include pneumonia, bronchitis, heart issues, and even ear infections. In the most serious cases, the flu can even cause death. Thus, it’s not to be taken lightly, which is why many people opt to receive the flu shot.

So, what happens after you get the flu shot? Why do you feel sick afterward? Let’s review the steps for what occurs after the inoculation.

Side Effects

You feel a prick, and experience a moment or two of discomfort. Fortunately, if needles are extremely scary for you, the flu vaccine can now be given through a nasal spray. Just ask your doctor.

  • The vaccinated area becomes red and swollen. The biggest side effect from the flu shot is irritation and soreness in the arm muscle. The shoulder can be very tender for a few days and there may be . The feeling is quite uncomfortable and may limit the use of your arm, but it’ll fade.

This problem happens because your inoculation is directed right into your muscle, which can cause your immune system to respond immediately. Basically, the injection is damaging your cells on a microscopic level, and the muscle is not accustomed to it.

The pain can be reduced by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever. If, however, the pain doesn’t subside in a few days or if your mobility doesn’t return, immediately notify your doctor.

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  • It’s possible for the body to react to the flu shot by developing an itching rash at the injection or all over the body. This may seem like it’s an allergic reaction, but that’s only in rare cases.

Many people believe that if you’re allergic to eggs, then you’ll be allergic to the flu shot. This is because many immunizations are manufactured with the technology that employs minute rations of egg proteins. However, this is just a myth, according to the healthcare professionals at the CDC.

If you develop a severe rash on your body, contact your doctor as soon as possible since you may actually be allergic to the flu vaccine.

  • After being inoculated, within the next few weeks, your body will feel a little sick. You may experience headaches, muscle aches, and a low-grade fever, which is normal. It’s just your body’s way of fighting off a foreign substance. This is what allows your system to develop antibodies for any flu virus that you may become exposed to afterward.
  • Along with aches and pains, your body may become faint and you’ll feel dizzy. Just let the doctor know if this happens to you often. One word of advice is to have a snack ready for either before or after the immunization. Having one may help reduce nausea.

Other Possible Issues

These side effects are the most common after receiving the flu shot. There are other issues that may come along, but they’re few and far between. However, if you experience any of them, you should immediately contact your physician. These ailments are:

  • High fever with more than 101 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Hives
  • Breathing problems
  • Dizziness
  • Swelling in the rest of the body
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Weakness
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome


When being inoculated from influenza, it’s normal to feel ill afterward. However, this doesn’t mean that you have the flu. The soreness, tenderness, redness, or even a fever is just your body reacting to the immunization creating antibodies.

It can take up to two weeks for the flu shot to take effect. Watch your surroundings and try to stay away from anyone who may be ill or possibly show symptoms of the flu.

After you receive your shot, be prepared for any of the side effects that can occur. If you’re prepared for what can happen, the inoculation period of discomfort may only be a small sacrifice to help prevent from being full-fledge ill for two or more weeks. One ounce of prevention may save you from a pound of pain and illness.

This post was last modified on November 13, 2022 12:24 am

Piya C: Piya C is internet savvy health and lifestyle blogger. She covers beauty, relationship, diet and many more topics. #blogger #author Want to connect with me? Follow me. I reply my every DM & tweet.
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