I have noticed that my blog stats show that a lot of people are reading this blog post. If you or someone you know has had a reaction to the 2013-2014 flu vaccine, please leave a comment. I'm trying to gauge just how widespread the problem is this year. Thank you for your help!
Like a lot of people, my husband, elderly mother, and I got our flu shots last Saturday. None of us are allergic to eggs and we've never had any previous reactions to the flu vaccine. I assumed that getting a bit more prepared for flu season was going to be a relatively simple, non-event like usual. It was for both my husband and mother. I, however, had a reaction and ended up with terrible hives within a few hours of getting my vaccination. I did an online search and found lots of examples of other people who had the same reaction and even one woman who had an identical reaction: hives covering her legs. Many of the people who had the hive reaction from their flu vaccinations wrote about having chronic hives off and on for months!
I filed an online adverse reaction report with VAERS, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System and hoped for the best. My hives were entirely gone within three days and I thought that it was over. Last night, I started itching and it quickly escalated into full-blown, I'm being attacked by mosquitoes-style hives and this time, it was all over my arms, buttocks, legs, and feet. It was an awful night. I took Benedryl and used a few different topicals and nothing made a dent in the itching. I tried desperately to not scratch but kept awakening to find that I had been scratching in my sleep.
Has anyone had a similar reaction? How long did the chronic hives last?
Does anyone have any unusual home remedies for hives? I've tried all the normal remedies and nothing is working!
In case anyone wants to know the particular vaccine that I received: Afluria 2013-2014 Pre-filled Syringe (manufactured in Australia and distributed by Merck)
UPDATE: My hives got much worse and I went to the doctor. Two steroid shots and a warning to never again get a flu shot and I am still itching an hour and a half later. I would rate the pre-shot itching at a 10 on a 1 to 10 scale and it's about an 8.5 right now. I've got Zantac so, I'm prepared for the inevitable indigestion that I always experience when I've had steroids.
Oh, and the lovely part is that the steroids will also suppress my immune response to the flu vaccine so, I've gone through all this for nothing!
UPDATE II: I itched all night and I'm still itching. It's so miserable attempting to work while trying to concentrate on not scratching.
UPDATE III: (9/30) Today was a good day and there was very little itching. Oh, how I hope this means that I've turned a corner with the hives...
UDPATE IV: (10/1) The hives are slowly returning and I now have aching and stiffness in my shoulders, arms, wrists, and legs.
UPDATE: (10/8) I'm getting occasional patches of hives and my flu shot arm still feels like I've been punched extremely hard. When is this going to end?
UPDATE: (10/12) No hives for two days but my the pain when I move my arm has not lessened.
UPDATE: (10/19) I've not had hives for several days but my shoulder/arm still hurt and the pervasive, dull body aches still continue. I'm guessing that my immune system is still very 'angry'.