Vaccine Reporting System
- For decades, vaccines have been used to protect millions of people from influenza, however, as with any medication there is a risk for side effects when taking vaccines. Although most people tolerate a flu shot fairly well, people should keep in mind the risks involved. Vaccine safety has increased over the years due to medical advances, however, every person is different and can potentially have a negative reaction. An individual that has an adverse reaction to a vaccine should contact their physician as well as the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.
- Because flu vaccines contain thimerosal, some people experience redness or swelling around the injected area. Thimerosal is used as a preservative for vaccinations. Unfortunately, it contains mercury which irritates the skin. People who experience soreness after the shot, usually don't suffer very long.
- People who receive the flu shot may experience a low-grade fever. A low-grade fever does not exceed 101 degrees F. Mild muscle aches, pain and nausea are also potential side effects. Side effects usually occur very soon after the shot and can last up to two days.
Prescription Side Effects
- In addition to vaccinations, a common prescription drug used to prevent and treat flu symptoms is Relenza, which goes by the pharmaceutical name Zanamivir. The Centers for Disease Control discovered that some of the most common side effects for the drug were dizziness, headache and infections in the ear, nose or throat. Fortunately, these adverse side effects affect only about 5 percent of the people who use Relenza. (See References 2)
National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
- People who suffer an injury due to a flu vaccine can file a claim with the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which is managed by the department of health. To file a claim, the injury must have lasted more than six months and resulted in surgery, a hospital stay or death. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program does not currently cover the 2009 H1N1 vaccination.