Are you experiencing pain after getting your annual flu shot? For lots of people, arm pain is an unfortunate side effect. And while this pain is normal, many people worry that it’s caused by a shot that was administered in the wrong spot. Is it possible to get a flu shot too high on the arm? What about too low? Read on to get the facts on proper flu shot placement- and also what to do if you’re experiencing pain.

Why Flu Shot Placement Matters

We think of injections as pretty straightforward procedures. A needle is just inserted into the skin, right? Well, while this is technically true, the needle placement actually matters a great deal. Shots are administered into certain muscles, and the needle also needs to be held at the correct angle to prevent injury. Thankfully, medical professionals are highly trained and understand how to give injections safely.

What Happens if a Flu Shot is Too High on Arm?

If you get a flu shot too high on the arm, then you may experience extra pain in the upper arm, shoulder, and surrounding areas. In some cases, a flu shot too high on the arm can lead to SIRVA, which stands for “shoulder pain related to vaccine administration”. This condition is very rare. However, it does require a doctor’s treatment, so seek help if suspect you have the condition.

How Long Does Pain Last?

The key difference between regular shoulder pain and SIRVA after a vaccine is the amount of time that the pain lasts. Usually, arm pain after a vaccine goes away on its own after 24-48 hours. You should talk to your doctor if the arm pain lasts for more than 24 hours, feels severe, or gets worse over time.

The Bottom Line

While SIRVA is a possibility, it is a very rare and treatable condition. The flu is a potentially fatal infection that also easily spreads. Therefore, it’s important to get your flu shot, even if you are worried about side effects. If you’re still feeling nervous, then talk to your doctor. They can help you understand the risks and benefits of getting vaccinated.

Get Vaccinated Today

DM Clinical Research offers flu shots, COVID-19 vaccinations, and other vaccines. Call us today to book your appointment.