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H5N1 Influenza Vaccine Side Effects

Generic Name: influenza virus vaccine, h5n1

Note: This document contains side effect information about influenza virus vaccine, h5n1. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name H5N1 Influenza Vaccine.

For the Consumer

Applies to influenza virus vaccine, h5n1: intramuscular suspension

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

You should not receive a booster vaccine if you had a life-threatening allergic reaction after the first shot.

Keep track of any and all side effects you have after receiving this vaccine. When you receive a booster dose, you will need to tell the doctor if the previous shot caused any side effects.

You may feel faint after receiving this vaccine. Some people have had seizure like reactions after receiving this vaccine. Your doctor may want you to remain under observation during the first 15 minutes after the injection.

Becoming infected with H5N1 influenza is much more dangerous to your health than receiving this vaccine. However, like any medicine, this vaccine can cause side effects but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.

Common side effects may include:

  • pain or tenderness where the shot was given;

  • muscle pain;

  • fussiness, irritability, crying for an hour or longer;

  • headache; or

  • general ill feeling.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to influenza virus vaccine, h5n1: intramuscular suspension


The most common adverse events were injection site pain, muscle aches, and irritability.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Injection site pain (83%), injection site erythema (33.7%), injection site swelling (28.6%)
Common (1% to 10%): Injection site pruritus, injection site warmth
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Injection site reaction[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Muscle aches (45%), arthralgia (25%), joint pain (17.1%)
Rare (less than 0.1%): Polymyalgia rheumatic, rheumatoid arthritis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Irritability/fussiness (82%)[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (35%), drowsiness (37.8%)
Common (1% to 10%): Dizziness
Rare (less than 0.1%): Convulsion, cerebrovascular accident, cranial nerve IV palsy, facial palsy, radiculitis, febrile convulsion[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Fatigue (34%), fever (22.4%), shivering (17%)[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Pulmonary embolism, rheumatoid lung[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Loss of appetite (29.1%)[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Gastrointestinal reaction (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or abdominal pain) (17.2%)
Common (1% to 10%): Gastroenteritis
Rare (less than 0.1%): Celiac disease, Crohn's disease[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Sweating (11%)
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Rash
Rare (less than 0.1%): Psoriasis, erythema nodosum, alopecia[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Eye infections
Rare (less than 0.1%): Corneal transplant rejection[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Autoimmune hepatitis[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Temporal arteritis[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Thyroid cancer[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Influenza Virus Vaccine, H5N1, Inactivated (influenza virus vaccine, H5N1, inactivated)." GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, NC.

Some side effects of H5N1 Influenza Vaccine may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

More about H5N1 Influenza Vaccine (influenza virus vaccine, h5n1)

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