I Got My Shots, Now What?

You went in to get your shots and now are wondering if the symptoms you are experiencing are normal?  Here are some general guidelines to help you feel at ease:

Vaccines rarely cause serious side effects or reactions.  The most common side effects are local reactions of tenderness and redness at the injection site.  This can be treated by applying a cool damp cloth or ice pack at the injection site and if pain is severe enough, taking aspirin or acetaminophen.

Some vaccines occasionally cause general side effects such as fever, headache, achiness and fatigue.  These flu-like symptoms should be treated with acetaminophen and/or rest.

Very rarely a vaccine may cause a severe allergic reaction which can be potentially life threatening.  The majority of these reactions occur within the first few minutes after vaccination.  This is why we ask clients to remain at the clinic for fifteen to twenty minutes.  Allergic reactions may also occur at a later interval after vaccination.  Symptoms consist of:

  • Difficulty breathing or  shortness of breath
  • Swelling around the mouth or of the tongue
  • Hoarseness or wheezing
  • Widespread severe itchiness

Any of these symptoms are a medical emergency and medical help should be sought immediately, preferably at a hospital emergency department. 

Please remember that any serious reaction to a vaccine should be reported to the clinic where you received it.