What to Avoid After a Flu Shot & Tips To Reduce Discomfort

The flu shot aims to prevent influenza (flu illness) by vaccination administration to your thigh or upper arm. 

The vaccination starts to work around two weeks after you get it.

In this article, we will explore what to avoid before and after receiving your flu shot.

Also, we will explore if taking the vaccine can infect you and make you contagious to those around you. 

What to Avoid After The Flu Jab

1) Certain Medications

There are certain medications that you should avoid taking after the flu shot. For example, steroids should be avoided as they can depress your immune system. 

2) Alcohol

After receiving a flu vaccination, healthcare providers advise against consuming alcohol. 

Research shows that alcohol use in excess can reduce immune cell function and hinder the body’s defenses against flu infection. 

Also, it can aggravate the harm that alcohol intake causes to organs and delay the healing process after tissue damage.

3) Smoking and Stress

These two factors might weaken your immune system while your body produces antibodies in response to the flu shot.

supplements for immune system

What to Do After The Influenza Vaccine To Reduce Reactions

1) Rest and Self-Care

You may experience soreness and fatigue after receiving the flu vaccine as your immune system prepares to fight the virus. 

If you feel unwell or sore after the flu vaccination, you might benefit from extra rest and self-care.

2) Exercise

Research shows that doing light-to-moderate workouts after getting a flu shot may boost the vaccine’s effectiveness. 

This is good news for people who exercise at lower intensities, such as walking. 

However, exercise is not advised if you have arm soreness that you cannot move or if you experience lightheadedness or fainting after receiving a vaccine.

3) Eat Healthy and Drink Enough Fluids

Drinking enough water and eating foods high in vitamins (particularly those high in C and D), whole grains, lean proteins, probiotics, prebiotics, and fresh fruits and vegetables can strengthen your immune system.

4) Close Self-Monitoring

You may experience minor flu shot side effects, including fever, headaches, muscle aches, and mild to severe pain or redness at the injection site. 

However, a potentially fatal allergic response to the vaccine is possible. Allergic reaction symptoms might include: 

  • Shortness of breath
  • Hives
  • A high temperature
  • Wheezing
  • Swelling around the lips, eyes, or other parts of your face
  • Feelings of faintness or dizziness.

If you experience any signs of an allergic reaction, contact the emergency services as soon as possible.

5) Consult your Healthcare Provider

Inform your physician if you become sick with Guillain-Barré syndrome six weeks after receiving a flu vaccination or if you had direct contact with someone who is immunocompromised.

6) Keep Your Arm Moving After the Injection

You can improve the blood flow to the injection site and temporarily relieve discomfort by moving your arm. 

Push against your elbow while extending your arm in front of you, or try using your fingers to crawl along a wall. 

Making a circular motion with your arm is another wise decision.

7) Apply a Warm Compress to the Injection Site

To reduce discomfort and swelling after injection, apply a warm compress to the affected region.

8) Choose the Perfect Flu Shot Appointment

Many people prefer to get their flu vaccination on Friday or Saturday, allowing them to recover over the weekend.

Get Your FREE Sleep Guide

  • Learn how to naturally improve your sleep
  • Dietary recommendations, supplements, and lifestyle changes
  • Developed exclusively by our medical doctor

By clicking “Download Now”, I agree to Ben's Natural Health Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Are You Contagious After A Flu Shot?

The flu shot does not cause you to become sick. It is an inactive or synthetic strain of the virus that exposes your body to dormant viruses. 

It enables your body to identify and eliminate the flu infection when you become infected. 

The vaccination prevents you from spreading the virus or influenza to other people.

After receiving a flu vaccine, it takes about two weeks for your immune system to become resistant to flu viruses. 

So, you may get the flu and contaminate others around you if you were unwell when you received your immunization or had the illness shortly after.

Furthermore, you can encounter a flu virus that isn’t covered by the seasonal flu shot because the vaccination guards against the four influenza viruses that are most likely to spread.

Even if you get the flu shot, how well it protects you can vary based on your age and health. 

Older kids and healthier adults respond well to flu shots, and elderly people and those with chronic illnesses like diabetes may have weaker immunity. 


The seasonal flu vaccine targets the most prevalent strains of influenza each year, and the flu shot protects against many types of the virus. 

It is helpful to know what to avoid after a flu shot to aid in your recovery.

Following the flu vaccine, rest, a nutritious diet, and mild to moderate exercise may all help strengthen your immune system. 

Fever after the flu shot and some degree of discomfort and weariness can occur. You should feel better with self-care and over-the-counter pain medications.

It’s crucial to know that even if you get ill after receiving a vaccination, your flu symptoms will be less severe, and you will recover faster than if you hadn’t received it.  

Additionally, there will be a decreased chance of experiencing severe side effects such as pneumonia, sepsis, multiple organ failure, brain inflammation, deteriorating heart disease, and heart inflammation.

Explore More

flu shot side effects

Flu Shot Side Effects: What To Expect After Your Jab.


  1. Justus  Hallam, et al. “Exercise after Influenza or COVID-19 Vaccination Increases Serum Antibody without an Increase in Side Effects.” Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, Academic Press, 5 Feb. 2022.
  2. Drugs.com. “Flu Shot (Vaccine) for Adults – What You Need to Know.” Drugs.Com, 5 Nov. 2023.
  3. Key Facts about Seasonal Flu Vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25 Aug. 2023.
  4. Jackson, M. L., et al. “Low-Dose Aspirin Use Does Not Diminish the Immune Response to Monovalent H1N1 Influenza Vaccine in Older Adults: Epidemiology & Infection.” Cambridge Core, Cambridge University Press, 2 Sept. 2015. 
  5. Calder, Philip C. “Foods to Deliver Immune-Supporting Nutrients.” Current Opinion in Food Science, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2022.
  6. Sarkar, Dipak, et al. “Alcohol and the Immune System.” Alcohol Research: Current Reviews, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2015.

Top Products

Total Health


Glucose Control