Getting vaccinated is highly important to keep your body protected from common diseases. To take care of both yourself and others, you must follow your vaccination schedule and have your yearly flu shot to keep yourself safe and healthy.

When the vaccine kicks into your system, you may or may not react to the vaccine. It differs from person to person. If you’re worried about what you should feel after getting a vaccine shot, read below:

1. Numbness

It’s common to feel numbness after flu shot especially on your arm. This usually lasts no longer than one to two days. Numbness happens to your body as it’s a natural reaction to a foreign substance that has entered your body. It means that your body is administering the flu shot well and you shouldn’t be worried about it. If the numbness is accompanied by a lack of muscle control or loss of sensation on your arm, you should contact your doctor immediately.

2. Pain, Redness, or Swelling

You may notice some pain, redness, or swelling on the area where the shot was administered. Don’t worry as this is entirely normal—it’s just how your body reacts to the vaccine. The irritation should be gone within a couple of days.

3. Fever

As troubling as it sounds, having a fever after you’ve had your vaccine shot is completely normal. It happens because your body is responding to the vaccine. It can also mean that your body is creating new antibodies to protect against the real disease. The same is true for children receiving their childhood vaccinations as well.

When this happens, it’s usually normal and should subdue within two to three days. However, you should contact your doctor if your or your child’s temperature reaches over 104° F (40° C), your baby is less than 12 weeks old, your child has been crying non-stop for the last three hours, or your child looks and feels very sick.

4. Muscle and Joint Aches

It’s normal to feel any aches from your muscles and joints. This means that your body is trying to fight the vaccine because it’s new to it and feels like a virus. However, this will subdue within one to two days. You need to have proper rest and hydrate well. However, if the pain is intense, you should seek your doctor for advice as it can be something worse than anticipated.

5. Headache

Usually, you’re more likely with having a headache rather than experiencing a fever. Similarly, this is how your body reacts when there’s something foreign present in your system. The headache should be gone within one to two days.

After-Vaccine Care

After having your vaccination, you must try to rest as much as possible and take a day or two off. It helps your body to adjust and recover to the vaccine and helps your immunity to build up and protect you from the disease you were vaccinated against.   

While you are resting, you must try to:

  • Drink lots of water and try to stay hydrated at all times. You should drink water instead of other beverages.
  • If the area you received your shot is sore, put a cool and wet washcloth directly on it.
  • If your arm is sore after getting your vaccine, try to move your arm around to help relieve the pain rather than allowing it to cause you any pain.
  • With your doctor’s approval, take a non-aspirin pain reliever

Consult Your Doctor

Having those side effects are normal, however, not everyone reacts to the vaccine the same way some people do. With this, you should consult your doctor immediately if you’re experiencing any of the following rights after you had your vaccine:

  1. Wheezing
  1. Have trouble breathing
  1. Hives
  1. Feeling extremely weak
  1. Fever over 104° F (40° C)
  1. Rash on the entire body
  1. Swelling and tenderness of the lymph nodes
  1. Severe rash with eczema

When any of those happens especially on the night of your vaccination day, rush to the hospital immediately and contact your doctor. You might be having an allergy reaction or your body is not handling the vaccination well. You must observe your body after getting the shot and rest as much as you can for one to two days.

Conclusion

While vaccines are designed to help your body to protect from diseases, you’ll be having to deal with side effects first. Don’t worry if you get them as they’re only the normal reactions of your body thinking that the vaccine is a virus rather than a body defender. It can actually mean that the vaccine is working and just needs your body more time to adjust.

If you’re worried that you didn’t catch any side effects, don’t worry, the vaccine is working perfectly fine. As mentioned, different people handle vaccine differently so it’s important that whatever happens, you should always try to rest as much as possible and consult your doctor when you have severe and unusual side effects going on with your body.

Along with this, vaccines are not a guarantee that you’ll be protected at all times, it’s still best to keep a healthy lifestyle and make yourself safe always.

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "What You Should Feel After Getting a Vaccine Shot," in Medicalopedia, November 11, 2020, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/9367/what-you-should-feel-after-getting-a-vaccine-shot/].