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What should I watch for?
Report any side effects that do not go away within 3 days to your doctor or health care professional. Call your health care provider if any unusual symptoms occur within 6 weeks of receiving this vaccine.
You may still catch the flu, but the illness is not usually as bad. You cannot get the flu from the vaccine. The vaccine will not protect against colds or other illnesses that may cause fever. The vaccine is needed every year.
Common and Rare Side Effects
In 1976, a number of people who received the “swine flu” influenza vaccine developed Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), which is a disease that may cause paralysis. Most of these people were over 25 years of age. Although only 10 out of every one million people who received the vaccine actually developed GBS, this number was 6 times higher than would normally have been expected. Most of the people who got GBS recovered completely.
It is assumed that the “swine flu” virus included in the 1976 vaccine caused the problem, but this has not been proven. Since that time, studies have shown that the risk of acquiring GBS from an influenza vaccine is very low (one out of every million people).
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
loss of appetite
redness of the eyes
stuffy or runny nose
Body aches or pain
difficulty with breathing
loss of voice
swelling or puffiness of the face
tightness in the chest
unusual tiredness or weakness
Difficulty with swallowing
large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, lips, or tongue
Incidence not known
back pain, sudden and severe
back, leg, or stomach pains
blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
bruising, inflammation, rash, redness, swelling, tenderness, or pain at the injection site
burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
burning, dry, or itching eyes
clumsiness or unsteadiness
dryness of the throat
increased sensitivity of the eyes to sunlight
pain, redness, soreness, swelling, tenderness, or warmth on the skin
pinpoint red spots on the skin
redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
sensation of spinning
shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
sores, welts, or blisters
stomach pain, soreness, or discomfort
unusual bleeding or bruising
weakness of the muscles in your face
yellowing of the eyes or skin
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Incidence not known
Sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.