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Flu jab side effects: common questions

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Overview of flu jab side effects

Before receiving the flu vaccination, there are a few flu jab side effects to note. The flu vaccine is very safe, and most people won’t experience any side effects after their flu vaccination. If you do have any side effects these should clear up after a day or so.

Side effects tend to be mild, but you may:

After the jab, you may feel a mild fever and slight muscle aches for a day or so, however this is completely normal and is nothing to worry about. Others may also have a sore arm after getting your vaccination.

Here, at LloydsPharmacy, we answer all your common questions on the side effects of the flu jab.

Side effects of this year’s flu jab 

As with previous vaccines, the 2021-2022 flu vaccines will have the same possible side effects. These side effects are often mild and last for a day or so. Most people may not experience any side effects, while others have a sore arm. If you do have a sore arm, it’s best that you keep moving it and take a painkiller.

This year’s flu jab and the COVID-19 vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccinations and the flu vaccines have very similar side effects, although the flu vaccine rarely causes nausea. The Government are still to announce whether flu and COVID-19 vaccines will be given together to help boost protection.

If you’re worried about the side effects of each vaccine, see below for the most common side effects. You can also speak to one of our pharmacy team when you get your flu jab.

Vaccination  Side effects
Flu
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Sore arm
COVID-19
  • Tiredness
  • Sore arm
  • Headache
  • Aches
  • Feeling sick
  • Being sick

 

Can you have an allergic reaction from the flu jab (vaccine)?

It is rare, but allergic reactions can occur. Signs to look out for are hives, swelling, heart racing and difficulty breathing. If you’ve previously had an allergic reaction to a vaccine or you're allergic to egg, you might not be able to get the vaccine. Speak to our pharmacists to find out more.

Can I catch flu from the flu jab? 

You can't catch the flu from the flu vaccination because it contains inactive particles of the flu virus. If you do get the flu after receiving your jab, it’s likely to be because the vaccination hasn’t become fully effective or you have picked up a different strain of the virus.

Can I still get flu if I've been vaccinated?

The flu jab is the best protection against this year’s flu virus. It won’t stop all strains of it. So, there’s still a small chance of catching the flu.

Does the flu vaccination protect me from coronavirus?

Getting the flu vaccination won’t protect you from the coronavirus as it is a different virus, and a vaccine for it is currently being made available. However, The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends we all get the flu vaccine each year to help prevent the flu and keep you and your family healthy all winter long.

Book your flu jab

 

Does the flu jab make you ill?

It is a common misconception that the flu jab gives you the flu, but minor reactions of flu-like symptoms including mild fever and tiredness are reported by some people.

Does the flu jab make your arm sore?

A sore arm after any vaccination is common, and the pain comes from the muscle where the injection was given. A sore arm is a good sign as your body is responding to the vaccine.

Can the flu vaccine make you tired?

Most people feel fine after a flu jab, but some people do report feeling tired a day or two after receiving the vaccination.

Is fatigue one of the side effects of the flu jab?

When you get vaccinated the antibodies in your system are fighting the bacteria in the vaccine to make you immune, and feeling mild fatigue and tiredness is completely normal.

Can the flu jab give you a headache?

Although most people feel fine after a flu shot, some flu-like symptoms like a headache can occur.

Will the flu jab give me a cold?

No, the flu shot does have mild side effects for some people but it doesn't make you sick.

Can I get the flu jab if I'm sick?

Talk to your doctor or a pharmacist about your symptoms, you can still get the flu vaccination if you have a mild illness, but you might need to reschedule if your doctor or pharmacist advises you to recover.

How long does it take before I am protected with the flu vaccine?

Two weeks after having the flu vaccine you will be immunised from flu.That's why it’s best to get it as early as you can to be protected for as much of the season as possible.

When will flu jabs be available at LloydsPharmacy?

Flu jabs for 2021 are now available, you can use our booking form to book your appointment today or visit your nearest store. 

References

www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine
www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/safety-and-side-effects
www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-flu-immunisation-programme-plan/national-flu-immunisation-programme-2021-to-2022-letter