While the explanation may be more complicated, the easy answer is you won’t get the flu from the vaccine. But, with ever-changing science and the ingredients in the vaccine, some are hesitant to get the flu shot due to some misconceptions.
It’s not possible to get the flu as a result of getting a flu shot. Although, it is possible to feel side effects after getting a flu shot.
Despite the possibility of side effects, it is important and recommended that all people over the age of five months get a flu vaccine every single year. While side effects may be annoying, influenza can cause serious complications.
Misconceptions Of Vaccinations
One of the largest myths about vaccinations, especially flu shots are that you can get sick from the vaccine.
This misconception is thrown around because the flu vaccine uses an inactive version of the virus itself. But, that detail is what keeps the shot from infecting you: the virus is inactive. An inactive version of the flu virus can’t spread the illness.
According to the CDC, the flu vaccine can use two different versions of the virus: inactive or weakened. The flu shot given via injection only uses an inactive version. Whether that’s a high dose flu shot, quadrivalent or trivalent, the vaccine does not have a live version of the flu.
A nasal spray version of the vaccine is also available for some. This version uses a weakened or attenuated version of the flu. Even though this vaccine still uses a live version of the flu, it still cannot give a person the virus.
Why Do I Feel Sick After The Flu Shot?
It’s not possible to get the flu from your flu shot. But, many people can feel side effects or even get the flu later on in the season.
There are a few reasons why you might get the flu later in the season, even after you’ve receiving the flu shot. A variety of reasons may cause a later flu infection:
- You might have another virus that you’re mistaking for influenza such as rhinovirus, stomach flu, or the common cold.
- Each year, flu shots are reconstructed based off last year’s strain of the flu. It is possible to get another strain of the flu that the vaccine was not developed to protect against.
- You were infected with the virus before your body was able to make antibodies to fight the flu. The flu shot can take two weeks to build those antibodies after vaccination, leaving a short window for infection.
Some frequent side effects of the flu vaccine include soreness where the shot was given and even a mild fever. But, these side effects are not a result of getting the flu virus. Most side effects happen within minutes or hours after getting the vaccine.
In very rare instances, a severe allergic reaction can occur if an individual is allergic to an ingredient in the vaccine. A severe allergic reaction can cause shortness of breath, hives, swelling of the lips, and dizziness. If you experience any of these symptoms, call for emergency services immediately.
Should I Get a Flu Shot This Year?
While washing your hands and practicing good hygiene is important, the influenza vaccine is the most reliable way to lower your risk of getting the flu each season.
It’s important to get the vaccine every season because the vaccine is changed each year to fight the most recent strain the virus. The shot is catered to help that season for flu strains that were present in the virus of the year prior.
The current goal in the United States is for 70% of the population to get vaccinated for the flu. Last year, only 45% of the population was vaccinated.
Want to schedule your flu shot now for the 2019 – 2020 flu season? It’s never too late. Contact Passport Health by scheduling an appointment online or call at . Passport Health also offers on-site flu vaccinations.
Written for Passport Health by Kaitlyn Luckow. Kaitlyn is a freelance writer, photographer and English teacher in Milwaukee. She has a passion for capturing and writing other people’s stories. You can find her at sayhellostory.com.