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What are the Most Common Pneumonia Shot Reactions?

Nicole Madison
Updated: Mar 03, 2024

The most common pneumonia shot reactions are those that occur at the injection site. Some people, for example, experience minor swelling at the site of the injection; redness and minor soreness may develop as well. A low-grade fever and fatigue are also common reactions, and some people even experience appetite loss after having a pneumonia shot. Serious reactions to pneumonia shots are far less likely to develop, but can include high fever and extreme pain in the muscles of the arm. Likewise, allergic reactions to pneumonia vaccines are not common but can cause such symptoms as swelling of the throat, tongue or face; rapid heart beat; or difficulty breathing.

Most people do not develop serious adverse reactions to pneumonia vaccines. When a person does have a reaction, it is likely to be minor and temporary. For example, some of the most common pneumonia shot reactions include minor swelling or redness in the injection area. Some people may feel a little sore in the area as well. Additionally, some people may experience minor fatigue or loss of appetite after receiving the vaccine.

While fatigue, swelling, fever, and soreness are among the most common minor pneumonia shot reactions, they should not be ignored entirely. A person who experiences these reactions may do well to monitor them to make sure they do not become dramatically worse. If a person has severe pain at the injection site or in his muscles, this may be a sign of a serious reaction. Likewise, a high fever, extreme level of swelling, or severe fatigue may be a sign of a serious adverse reaction as well. When severe reactions develop, a person may do well to consult a doctor right away.

Though not likely, it is possible for a person to develop an allergic reaction to a pneumonia vaccine. In such a case, he may have severe swelling, difficulty breathing, and a more rapid heart rate than usual. He may also experience swelling of the tongue, throat or face. Unfortunately, allergic reactions to vaccines can be dangerous, and a person who suffers one may do well to seek immediate medical attention.

Often, people feel concerned about taking the pneumonia shot because they believe the vaccine may cause them to develop pneumonia. Fortunately, this is not the case. Pneumonia vaccines typically only use components of the bacteria that are not capable of causing infection.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a The Health Board writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
Discussion Comments
By anon1002435 — On Nov 19, 2019

After 2 days I felt like I had been bitten on my arm; very itchy and big red circle around it. I forgot I had the pneumonia shot. Five days after the shot and the location of my shot looks like blisters. Is this normal?

By anon1002297 — On Oct 18, 2019

My reaction was fever, extreme pain at site of injection and paralysis of my arm for two days.

By anon999528 — On Jan 24, 2018

Had the pneumonia shot yesterday, and couldn't sleep last night the pain my my arm was so severe. Not able to left the arm although bending seems to be no problem. I'm going to wait another 24 hours, then call the doctor. Perhaps I should have investigated this more fully before getting the injection.

By anon999331 — On Dec 10, 2017

99481--I have the same. Had some flu like symptoms for two days.

Arm is sore but the red patch and the size do concern me.

By anon997177 — On Nov 25, 2016

I just had my second shot four days ago. Now I am experiencing cold symptoms.

Two years ago I had my first shot and I was sick for 5 weeks with fever and drag breathing. I was in SA at the time and later saw my three SA doctors after the symptoms alleviated.

I asked my Kaiser doctor about this first reaction and be said it was impossible as they do no use a live vaccine.

However I am now suffering from a severe cold now? So what's the story?

By anon994881 — On Mar 14, 2016

Had pneumonia vaccination six days ago with no noticeable effects except a minimal soreness at site. Today, I noticed a large area of bright red coloration (oval shape, about 4 x 2 ") around the site going down my arm. I went to the doctor, and was told he'd never seen a reaction like this to a vaccination, but he gave no instructions, other than to come back immediately if it developed red streaks traveling down my arm. I am concerned about this.

By anon991548 — On Jun 29, 2015

Got the shot two weeks ago and my arm is still hurting. It hurts to move around or to lie on it. Should I go back to the doctor?

By anon990710 — On May 06, 2015

Will pneumonia shot present a rash in anyone?

By Ocelot60 — On Sep 25, 2014

@heavanet- I don't think you have to worry too much, because if you do have cold symptoms after getting the shot, most likely they will be mild. If anything, you may just have to take some over-the-counter cold medicine to feel better.

If pneumonia shot reactions are really worrying you a lot, you should talk to the person who gives you the shot or your doctor about your concerns. That way you will be able to have your mind put at ease before you get the shot.

By Heavanet — On Sep 24, 2014

@ocelot60- I have never had a pneumonia shot before, but I am planning to get one this year. If I have the reactions you described, what can I do to feel better? I'm very nervous about pneumonia shot reactions so I want to be prepared.

By Ocelot60 — On Sep 23, 2014

Though severe reactions to the pneumonia shot are rare, mild side effects to occur frequently. All my friends that have received this shot have had symptoms that have mimicked the common cold. Some say that this is only a coincidence and that people with this reaction had contracted colds before getting the shots, but I'm not so sure about that.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a The Health Board writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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