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Even if you try to keep yourself extremely healthy by exercising regularly and maintaining a proper diet, flu can still hit your body. To keep yourself fully protected, you should get a flu shot annually.

The reason why you need to do it annually is that flu viruses are constantly changing, and flu vaccines need to be consistently updated to cover all kinds of illnesses and protect you from them. However, just like with any other shot, you need to practice proper precautions when taking this for your body. 

Understandably, not everyone is comfortable taking shots since they’ve heard horror stories, such as when flu shot cause nerve damage. While that’s on a case-to-case basis, learning the things you need to know before, during, and after should help you be at peace.  

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What You Should Know Before A Flu Shot

Before you head out and get your flu shot, the first thing you should do is properly prepare yourself mentally and physically. This will help to minimize the side effects and make you feel comfortable as you get your shot. Moreover, below are some things you need to know before getting a flu shot: 

Identify Who Should Get Vaccinated 

As you decide to get your flu shot, you should first confirm if you’re valid to get one for your body. This way, you can avoid any complications and do well for your body.

However, for flu shots, everyone’s encouraged to get one, especially those at high risk of complications, as they need all the protection they can get from the flu shot.

This’ll involve people with chronic illnesses, over 65 years old, and pregnant women. The only people who shouldn’t get one are babies under six months old and those with allergic reactions to the flu shot.  

Confirm When You Should Get Vaccinated

Yes, there’s a specific time when is the best season for you to get your flu shot. While you can generally get it at any time of the year, it’ll be great if you could get your flu shot just before the flu season begins.

Due to the drastic weather change, flu season may start in November as the season slowly transitions to winter. With that, it’ll be best if you could get your flu shot in October.

Since it takes about two weeks for the flu shot to fully spread and be effective on your body, getting yourself a flu shot at least two weeks before November can provide you with the best protection. 

Learn the Side Effects

Like other vaccines, a flu shot can also have some side effects. Identifying those will help you prepare and make yourself comfortable to minimize pain and discomfort.  

In most cases, you’ll only feel a slight tender sensation on your injection site, along with some redness and swelling. Don’t worry, as this is completely normal, as it’s a sign that your body is responding to the shot and is developing antibodies to protect you from it.

Moreover, you can also experience some low-grade fever as your body works hard to protect you from the foreign virus.  

Learn How to Prepare Your Body

As you learn the side effects of getting your flu shot, it’ll be best if you prepare your body well and minimize the impact it’ll bring to your body. This should help you live a comfortable day and make it more bearable.  

To prepare your body, you should get enough sleep to ensure that your body has enough energy to create bodies and protect you from foreign viruses entering your body. However, if you’re stressed, you need to look for ways to address that issue to sleep better before your scheduled vaccination day.

It’ll also be helpful if you can move your body by doing some exercises to prevent your muscles from being too stiff. 

Lastly, you should eat the right food to help strengthen your immune system, as it’s responsive to protecting your body from the flu and developing antibodies. As you help your body to be stronger, it can function better, minimizing its side effects for your body. 

What You Should Know During A Flu Shot

As the day of your vaccination day comes, you should know what things you should do during your flu shot. You only need to keep your muscles as relaxed as possible.

During vaccination, you might tend to stiffen your muscles as you’re too tense and uncomfortable. However, doing this can lead to possible injury and intense side effects.

While it might be uneasy, you should try to relax your muscles during your shot. You can even try to look away from it to prevent yourself from feeling too tense and nervous about the shot.  

What You Should Know After A Flu Shot

After getting your shot, there are a few things that you need to do to minimize its side effects and make yourself comfortable. 

Keep Your Body Moving

While it might be tempting, you shouldn’t treat yourself like a baby after getting your flu shot. Letting your body rest and just lie down for the whole day will only result in stronger side effects as you’re not helping your body fight off the vaccine.

If you keep your body moving, you’re helping to further spread out the vaccine throughout your body and keep yourself stronger.

Preferably, you should always keep your body moving by doing light arm exercises. However, you should avoid doing intense workouts as you only need to keep it moving, not be too extreme about it.  

Use A Cold Compress

After getting your flu shot, the moment you get home is the perfect time to apply a cold compress to the injection site. That’ll help to numb the pain and tenderness of the vaccine.

It’ll be great if you could prepare a cold compress at home before you get your shot so you can immediately use it as you arrive home.

After 24 hours from your vaccine, you can switch to a warm compress to relax your muscles. However, you can still decide which type of compress you’ll go with as long as you prioritize your comfort.  


Knowing what the things you need to do before, during, and after your flu shot will help to minimize its side effects while maximizing what it can do for your body.

While there might be some things you need to prepare and keep in mind, those will help to make you feel comfortable and function as usual.

With proper preparation, you should easily survive your vaccination day as you’ve fully prepared yourself physically and mentally for the day.

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