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Is the flu shot supposed to be given IM or subcutaneous? Is pain, redness and swelling normal after the shot or is this a reaction?

By Anonymous September 30, 2010 - 5:58am
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Hi Anonymous

The flu vaccine is supposed to be give IM. A little swelling and redness at the site is normal, along with sometimes a low grade fever. But if you feel really terrible or your arm swells rather than just a little site irritation, you should contact your health care provider.

From the CDC:
Vaccine Side Effects (What to Expect)

Different side effects can be associated with the flu shot and LAIV.
The flu shot: The viruses in the flu shot are killed (inactivated), so you cannot get the flu from a flu shot. Some minor side effects that could occur are:

* Soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
* Fever (low grade)
* Aches

If these problems occur, they begin soon after the shot and usually last 1 to 2 days. Almost all people who receive influenza vaccine have no serious problems from it. However, on rare occasions, flu vaccination can cause serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. As of July 1, 2005, people who think that they have been injured by the flu shot can file a claim for compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP)External Web Site Icon.

Thank you for writing.

September 30, 2010 - 6:39am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Cary Cook BSN RN)

Actually, there is a newer flu vaccine that is given as a sub-dermal vaccination. It is called 'Intanza' and is manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur.

February 20, 2011 - 8:06am
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