'Flu Jab Reaction

I've had the 'flu jab every year without any problems other than a very localised sore arm.

However, I had my jab this morning and I'm feeling really really rotten now. The nurse said I might have a flu-like reaction and to take paracetamol and get an early night.

Why this year? Has anyone else had a reaction? Does anything help? If I'd known in advance I'd feel like this, I'd have saved it for Friday so I could feel groggy over the weekend. :(

23 Replies

  • Flu jab

    I'm not a medic but a pharmaceutical chemist and used to work for one of the companies who manufactured the flu vaccine. The composition varies each year with the World Health Organisation having to try and guess which strains will cause flu as it mutates and very rarely stays the same. Could be this is one of the years when more than on of the strains that make up the vaccine have been changed. Alternatively you could have been given the vaccine from a company you haven't had before. All the products do the same thing but have slight variances in their formula. I know I have trouble if I have any vaccines which contain thiomersal which is a preservative and contains mercury. I think its banned in the US and was going to be banned here. I also found out last week I can have the vaccine as previously I was told I couldn't due to a feather allergy (you don't want to know the gory details of how its been made!) but NWLC got me to see an immunologist and said only an egg allergy would prevent you from having it. They have even found a way now to give it to people with egg allergies but recommend its given in hospital in case of problems.

    Hopefully you'll soon pick up and the vaccine will be for the 'right' strains this year.

    Take care as I know from your posts you are unfortunate and have plenty of admissions.

    Rabbit aka Nina

  • I had mine this afternoon - I assume we may well have seen the same nurse? - and so far I am ok. This is the third year I've had it, felt VERY rotten last year but I had both the 'flu and pneumonia jabs at the same time which might have triggered feeling like death.

    Fingers crossed I'll stay ok, and you stay ok too!

    Emz x

  • 'Flu Jab

    Rabbit: I'm not a medic but a pharmaceutical chemist and used to work for one of the companies who manufactured the flu vaccine. The composition varies each year with the World Health Organisation having to try and guess which strains will cause flu...

    Doesn't seem to matter for me which strain it is, the 'flu jab always causes me to have a severe allergic reaction. None of my medical carers would even consider giving me a 'flu jab now! I just hope that I'm allergic to 'Flu as well - at least I've never had a dose in nearly 55 years so far, touch wood.

  • Thanks for all your replies. The nurse did say it was a different strain each year so I could have problems even if I haven't before. Felt so rough last night, I took paracetamol (hmm, not exactly effective) and retreated to bed way before the other students were even getting ready to go out for the night!! Didn't help that I was feeling shivery and there's no heating in halls yet. My peak flow also took a big dip which was a bit worrying.

    However, too many hours sleep and I'm feeling better now though I did look a bit hung over at breakfast time (fitted in perfectly with the other students!). PF is still a little low for comfort this morning but I'm not too symptomatic so I'll just keep an eye on things.

  • Ratty I think you jinxed me! I'm now starting to ache and have the beginnings of a sore throat 24-hours post jab...just been to stock up on meds in case :)

    Hope you feel better soon x

  • I cannot have any live injections as you effectively give me what ever you are trying to pretect me against, also i am allergic to eggs so that is a no go area as well.

  • Oops, sorry, crazybaby, hope you're feeling better soon - and yes, I had a sore throat yesterday. Just feel like I'm getting over a nasty cold today so I think the effects are short lived - I managed to survive the freshers fair (I know I'm not a fresher but there were freebies :) ) so can't be too bad although the guy who walked into my sore arm probably wishes he hadn't... *whistles*

  • always had a flu jab and never had a problem.maybe you had a bit of something before you had it.I always get a big red patch then goes away.with working in a school around loads of snotty noses the doc gives me the jab.Realy worried about first winter and picking up swine flu.had chickenpox of the children not so long ago xxx

  • Yes

    Yes, I had the general flu jab yesterday. I was unable to use my arm and it was swollen and painful from my shoulder down to my fingers, I felt really ill all night and couldn't sleep, not had that before and I’m a regular flu jab recipient. I’m dreading the swine flu jab, I think there is two of them, which will come in October sometime for us in the ‘at risk’ category – is there any end to all this?

  • At my last asthma clinic,I was told I might get the normal and the Swine flu one together (I may have misheard) what are the chances of a reaction to that combo??

  • One week on

    Flu jab last week. Arm felt bruised and awkward to sleep on. One week on, bruising and soreness disappeared BUT I had the following symptoms - throbbing headache, feeling dizzy, sore limbs. Only lasted a day and couldn't think what it was, till pointed out, one week on from flu jab.

    Crossing fingers does the job over winter and stops me getting real flu.

  • Had mine this morning and have the usual sore arm and a bit of a headache. Done for another year.

  • OH and Josh had theirs done yesterday after seeking advice mine has been delayed for a week or 2 although I have never had any kind of reaction or after effects. I hope I don't get any this year as I think the mix varies from year to year.


  • I saw the nurse today who had given me my 'flu jab and asked about the reaction - apparently quite a few of the health care workers at the surgery (I assume that means docs, nurses etc?) had had really sore painful arms afterwards. Obviously a 'sore arm' strain!! Still, it's a lot better than getting the 'flu and all the complications that could bring.

    Hopefully next years will be a non-sore-arm strain though!

  • I feel rotton this year after getting it

    First time I have ever had a really sore arm 2 days afterwards still and feeling tired etc, although I have been very run down for most of this year

  • A week after Josh and OH had their flu jabs and not a peep out of them regarding painful arms or reactions and certainly Josh would have said something. I am hoping to be strong enough to have mine next week although I have to say that - touch wood - I have never experienced any reactions of any kind in the years and years I have been having it.


  • Got it Wed and my arm is still sore and have bruising now. Still better than having the flu though so im trying not to grumblt too much but I just never usually take any reaction at all

  • Oh dear, lots of sore arms then this year. I will have the ordinary flu inj but am not so sure about the oink oink jab. I don't think enough is known about the side effects of the swine flu one yet. The worst the ordinary flu jab gives is a mild dose of flu like symptoms which is definately preferable to an admission due to an exacerbation because of getting flu.

    What does every one else think about the swine flu jab? I'm not sure about it but might have it, take care everyone, Lois

  • I wont be having the swine flu jab because i've already had swine flu (confirmed by swabs not just based on symptoms). I think if I hadn't i doubt I would've had the swine flu jab anyway- i was a bit skeptical, i can't pinpoint a reason why though.

    I will, however be getting my 'normal' flu jab- as soon as my GP decides my asthma is severe enough.

  • had my normal flu jab and it left a slight sore patch, but some recent good news is that it also offers some protection from swine flu, not total, but some.

  • My arm is finally better. i think my pain may have been because of a very sore Vitamin B12 injection i got in September, the trainee nurse totally mucked it up and made a mess of my arm so i think the flu jab just brought that back out.

    Im not concerned about the swine flu jab, i think there has been a lot of scare mongering especially with bringing up the whole thing about what happened in USA in 60's. you've got to remember they werent as good at making vaccines then and there was a lot of guess work but they are extremely good now at locating viruses and creating vaccines, particularly for flu. For a start there has been so much experience in it now and secondly id imagine the technology to help us is slightly better than what they had in the 60's!!

  • Hiya Ratty et al

    Came on here looking for advice and you have beaten me to it.

    My son had his flu jab today and within 4 hours was in bed with a headache, shivering, aching and a temp of 38.4. He has been under the weather for the past few weeks with a viral infection/chest infection and had 3 hospital trips cos of his asthma.

    I didn't realise it could affect anyone that quickly (never has before) and am now worried it might not just be a reaction and I should be seeking further help. Spoke to GP who said don't worry unless his breathing gets bad and just take paracetamol. What if it's Swine Flu and I am not dealing with it...how will I know. Also he is managing on around a 50% lung function anyway at the moment and has been on max Pred for the past 3 weeks.

    The Swine Flu site says people with underlying conditions should contact their GP for Tamiflu so I am a bit stuck.

    Help please...............

  • Hi Koolkat

    I had my flu jab last Saturday at 11am, by 2pm I was shivering, headache, temp of 38.2 and aching all over. I crawled into bed with paracetamol and just hoped it would go away. I too worried whether it was the flu jab or swine flu as someone in my office has just had it. The symptoms lasted about 48 hours and then I was better. It's possible it is the flu jab but if you are at all worried as it's the weekend perhaps you could call the out of hours doctors?

    Sparkly Fairy

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