VaccinationsFlu vaccine side effects

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After the flu vaccination you may get a mild fever and slight muscle aches for a day or so.

If you have a sore arm after the vaccination, try these tips to ease the discomfort:

  • continue to move your arm regularly – don't let it get stiff and sore
  • take a painkiller, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen – pregnant women shouldn't take ibuprofen unless a doctor recommends and prescribes it

Do not give aspirin to children under 16

You can't catch flu from the flu vaccine

The flu vaccine cannot cause flu because there are no active viruses in the vaccine.

If you have what you think is flu after vaccination, it may be that you have caught a flu-like virus that isn't really flu, or you may have caught flu before your flu vaccination had taken effect.

Read more about what the flu vaccine contains.

Allergic reactions to the flu vaccine

Serious allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) to flu vaccines are very rare. Healthcare staff giving vaccinations are fully trained to deal with anaphylaxis and, with prompt treatment, individuals make a quick and complete recovery.

Contact a pharmacist or your GP if you experience severe side effects that do not improve over time.

Find out how to report a vaccine side effect.

Page last reviewed: 26/03/2019
Next review due: 26/03/2022