The flu vaccine doesn't usually cause side effects. However, you may experience 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 pain:
- continue to move your arm regularly – don't let it get stiff and sore
- use a heat pack or warm compress on the area
- use an ice pack on the area if it becomes hot and sore – do not apply ice directly to your skin: wrap it in a towel first
- take a painkiller, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen – do not give aspirin to children under 16
The flu vaccine cannot cause flu.
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.
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 are not improving over time.