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Big Increase in Lymph Nodes close to Flu vaccination site

I had the UK 2014 flu vaccination at the GP clinic on Saturday. Today the lymph nodes in my axilla are 3 times their previous modest size. Has anyone else had this experience?

I'll wait 2 days and then contact my haematologist if they don't start to subside, as I don't want to assume cause and effect incorrectly.

9 Replies

That sounds worrying, lets hope they go down soon.


I had the same experience last December when I had the flu vaccine. It took several weeks, if not months, for the lymph nodes to reduce in size. Not certain if it was related to the vaccine or just normal waxing/waning of nodes. My doctor was not nearly as concerned as I was at that time. When I had the vaccine two weeks ago, I was expecting the same thing to happen, but it did not this time. Hope your hematologist has a more definitive answer for you. Best of luck.



I had exactly the same reaction this year to the flu vaccine, a day or two after the jab. I didn't have a problem last year. The lymph node in the armpit enlarged and the whole of the top of the arm felt swollen and painful. It went down after 4 or 5 days. However I've just had that lymph node and top of the arm flare up again, and its settling down again now. I plan to ask my haematologist about it when I next see her.

Hope yours settles down soon.



Thanks everyone. My reaction to the flu jab is always marked but this time its different . We know to be alert for changes in our symptoms such as rapidly growing nodes so it's worth being vigilant. I'll contact my haematologist on Thursday and feedback.

Thanks again for your responses.



I stopped having flu jab about 3 years ago as my arm became swollen and underarm lymph nodes enlarged to size of apple - slightly painful too - took over 3 weeks to reduce to relative normality. Decided not to have the annual flu jab again.

(The pneumonia jab produced no ill effects at all.)


Thanks Fieldmeadow. Yes, it's the size of an apple and interrupts sleep. It is my fourth vaccination this year and I think that my body is struggling to cope, too much is being asked of my lymphatic system.

I didn't have much reaction to Pneumovax or Prevnar but neither did I get any antibody response when tested subsequently.

Will think twice about the flu jab next year.

Thanks, MaudMarie


I don't recall having much antibody response to Prevnar 13 either.

I wonder if we are supposed to have the pneumonia one every year or if it's a 'one-off'? (I may post this as a question)


Good idea to post. At the recent CLL Consultants Forum meeting in the UK there was a presentation on infections and vaccinations. It was most disappointing that there is no meaningful guidance on frequency and sequence of vaccinations in CLL - apart from the advice on not having live vaccines. It all goes back to the lack of understanding of our immune deficiency.


Just had my second annual flu jab and on both occasions, a cricket ball sized liquid sack appeared under my arm on the side of the jab, with a smaller one on the opposite side. Painful if leant / slept on, but otherwise manageable. Remember worrying more the first time around for obvious reasons (plus that was the meningitis and pneumonia combined jabs) and even went back to GP but can't remember what they advised - don't remember having any meds for it though, so this time have been much more comfortable with it. Think they returned to normal after about a month?


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