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Children's Flu Vaccination Study Shows 1 In 10 Had Mild Reaction

It's impossible to get the flu from the flu vaccine.

18/05/2016 11:11 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:52 PM AEST
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Very few people receiving the flu vaccine report any side effects

An inaugural study into the side-effects of this year's flu shot for children found nine percent had a reaction, but all were mild.

The real-time study of 1200 children aged six months to five found 9 percent reported a reaction to this year's new flu vaccine, including three percent that had a fever and 1 percent that sought medical advice.

This year's vaccine is different because it's 'quadrivalent', which means it contains four strains -- two influenza A strains and two influenza B strains.

You might be sore in the arm but it's well worth it to protect yourself against the flu.

It's the first time a quadrivalent vaccine has been provided under the National Immunisation Program and real-time side effects are being tracked with surveillance system AusVaxSafety, led by the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance.

Associate professor Kristine Macartney told The Hufington Post Australia the results should encourage people to get their influenza shot.

"The overwhelming information is that reaction to flu vaccine is extremely uncommon," Macartney said.

"You might be sore in the arm but it's well worth it to protect yourself against the flu.

"The reactions were all very mild -- tiredness, irritability, some soreness at the injection site. Less than three per cent of people reported fever, or feeling a bit 'off' for a day or two, so parents have absolutely nothing to worry about."

Zachary Scott
The flu is more than a sniffle and sneeze.

Macartney busted common 'old wives' tale' that the flu vaccine could give you the flu.

"There is absolutely no way you can get the flu from the flu virus," Macartney said.

"It's impossible. In some people it will make you feel tired but that is not the flu."

The strains of the flu change slightly every season, which is why Macartney stressed the importance of getting 'the jab' each year.

"You can't rely on being immune from the previous year," Macartney said.

"There's a common misconception that the flu is little more than a cough and a runny nose.

"Influenza is a more serious illness and even people who are usually very healthy can be hospitalised and die from the flu."

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