What are Ordinary Side Effects of the Flu Shot?

All vaccines have side effects. In most cases, these side effects are mild (at worst), and most people experience them for no more than 24 to 48 hours. However, all vaccines have risks as well; and, when getting vaccinated, it is important to be aware of the signs of a potentially serious vaccine-related illness or injury.

Ordinary Side Effects of the Flu Shot Include…

With regard to the annual flu shot in particular, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have identified five main side effects that “are generally mild and [usually] go away on their own within a few days.” These are:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Soreness, redness and swelling at the injection site

The CDC also notes that the flu shot, “can occasionally cause fainting.” This results from a condition known as vasovagal syncope, which involves a sudden drop in heart rate and blood pressure caused by the vaccination.

Ordinary Side Effects of the Flu Shot Do Not Include…

There are two main risks associated with the annual flu shot: (i) shoulder injuries related to vaccine administration (SIRVA), and (ii) Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). While both of these conditions are relatively rare, they can both have long-term effects; and, as a result, it is important for flu shot recipient to be aware of the symptoms of these flu shot injuries.

While SIRVA describes a class of shoulder injuries that result from mistakes during the immunization process, common symptoms of vaccine-related shoulder injuries include:

  • Shoulder pain lasting more than 48 hours
  • Pain that worsens with movement
  • Inflammation at the injection site
  • Stiffness of the arm or shoulder
  • Weakness of the arm or shoulder
  • Difficulty sleeping due to shoulder pain or inflammation

Unlike SIRVA, Guillain-Barre Syndrome does not result from vaccination errors, but rather from an adverse reaction to the flu vaccine itself. There are several variants of GBS (including the chronic variant known as chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP)), with common symptoms including:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty walking or maintaining balance
  • Difficulty with bowel or bladder control
  • Loss of eye and facial control
  • Loss of reflexes
  • Pain that originates in the arms, legs, hands and feet
  • Tingling and weakness that originate in the legs
  • Sudden changes in heart rate or blood pressure

For individuals who are experiencing symptoms of SIRVA or GBS following a flu shot, it is important to seek medical attention promptly. It is also important to learn about your legal rights under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). The VICP is a federal government program that provides no-fault compensation for individuals diagnosed with SIRVA and GBS following their annual flu shots, and it pays claimants’ legal fees separately from their awards of financial compensation. Learn more about filing a claim under the VICP.

Speak with Vaccine Lawyer Leah V. Durant about Your Rights Under the VICP

Leah V. Durant is a national vaccine lawyer who has successfully represented numerous clients diagnosed with SIRVA and GBS following the flu shot and other vaccines. To find out if you are eligible for compensation under the VICP, call 202-800-1711 or request a free consultation online today.


Leah Durant Bio

Experienced litigation attorney Leah Durant focuses on representing clients in complex vaccine litigation matters. Leah Durant is the owner and principal attorney of the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, a litigation firm based in Washington, DC. Leah Durant and her staff represent clients and their families who suffer from vaccine-related injuries, adverse vaccine reactions and vaccine-related deaths. The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC is dedicated to assisting individuals in recovering the highest level of compensation as quickly and efficiently as possible. To learn more, contact vaccine attorney Leah Durant today.


Categories: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Flu Vaccine

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: