Symptoms after Flu Jab

I am 12w 10days pregnant, I had the flu jab a couple of days ago on the advise of my midwife. During the last couple of days I found I have had a slight headache and a runny nose, is this the signs of a cold and flu...

I hope someone can offer some advise as I am a little anxious about my health during my pregnancy, I miss carried my baby about 9mths ago so want to make every effort to keep as healthy and virus free as possible,

3 Replies

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  • Slight headache and runny nose could be a lot of things. Both of those are common pregnancy symptoms, so you may not need any further explanation. You could also be one of the minority of patients who experience mild symptoms after having the jab, which is nothing to worry about, just annoying. You could also be coming down with something, most likely a cold, less likely but possibly the flu. Getting a cold while pregnant can be distressing because most cold remedies are off limits, so you just have to tough it out, but it's not dangerous. Getting the flu can be dangerous (but isn't always, so don't panic). For that reason it's good to understand the difference between cold and flu symptoms-wise, so you know whether to worry. You can get more detailed info on the NCT website or NHS Direct, but the main symptom that you always get with flu and never with a cold is a fever. Baby doesn't like getting too hot, so if you feel poorly, it's a good idea to take your temperature and if it's high, take steps to get it down. A doctor probably wouldn't be too interested in seeing you right away, but personally, since I'm such a nervous nelly, if I had a temperature I'd probably call the midwife for some reassurance and clarification on what exactly I should be doing and when I should see doctor.

    Just a note on getting the flu after having had the jab. You can't get the flu from the jab, because it contains inactive viruses. However, you can get the flu in spite of having had the jab. In your case there are three reasons for this:

    - It takes a couple weeks for your body to respond to the vaccine, so the jab won't have rendered you immune to anything yet.

    - No vaccine is 100% effective. Once your immune system has had time to respond, you'll probably, but NOT definitely, be immune to the particular strains of virus the jab contained.

    - The flu vaccine contains a selection of flu strains that medical professionals predict will be making the rounds this flu season. Making that kind of prediction isn't an exact science, so you could still end up coming into contact with a strain of the flu virus you haven't been vaccinated against.

    So, getting vaccinated was a wise, risk-reducing move, but don't get complacent. Keep washing those hands religiously and tell sick people to keep their distance from you--give them a right mouthful if you have to :)

  • Thanks for that detailed explanation Carren it is very much appreciated and is very reassuring. Right now the symptoms are quite consistent and they have'nt changed for the last two days. I am making sure I get plenty of rest, not venturing out and not over working. I will monitor my symptoms closely however and will make a call to the midwife should they get worse and a fever start. I am pretty sure we have a thermometer which I will break out if I feel too hot and I will stick a wet towel over my fore head to cool down but I really hope I dont have to do this because i will get really worried and anxicous for the baby. I just have to hope my immune system is strong enough to fight off this cold I have. I'm usually very good and hardly ever get colds and I don't even recall the last time I had a fever but I suppose I am more susceptible in my pregnant state. This cold weather doesnt help matters thou. :(

    Thanks again for your advise.

  • Hi Mancubbas, Sorry you are not feeling too well. Just keep a close eye on your tempereature and if you feel feverish try to bring the temperature down. Dont cover yourself or overheat. Babies dont like high temperatures. Lots and lots of water and paracetamol is safe in pregnancy. Take care and all the best : )

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