Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Should I be concerned with possible side effects from recent flu shot?"
I just got my flu shot today. It has been 6 hours since I got it. I got the shot last year with no problem. Since getting the shot earlier today, I have now developed a cough, a slight heaviness in my chest, and my throat feels funny. I am able to breathe, but starting to make myself a little nervous. Should I be concerned about these feelings? Is this normal after just receiving a flu shot?
Thank you very much for your question. Getting your annual flu shot is important to help reduce the risk of contacting influenza each year. This also helps in building up herd immunity to reduce the spread of flu in your community. The main allergen in the flu shot relates to egg protein. Therefore, if you are allergic to eggs, it is often recommended that you not receive the traditional flu shot as it increases your odds of having an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions come in various severities. One of the more benign presentations is just a simple rash. It may worsen to become hives. The more serious allergic reactions place your airway at risk and can be associated with swelling of your lips and throat. Anaphylaxis is a very serious allergic reaction that involves decreased blood pressure and low blood flow to your organs. This is a serious and life-threatening condition. The timing of your symptoms may be coincidental and you may have just caught a cold; however, if you are concerned about your ability to breath, you should call your physician or go to an emergency room. It is not possible to receive a diagnosis without being evaluated by a physician. I suggest that you contact your doctor or primary care provider to discuss your symptoms.
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