Can the Flu Shot Give You the Flu?

This is something so medical, but every year I get excited when the flu vaccine arrives. For me, it signals the beginning of the Christmas season. And, I want everyone to spend the season, from Halloween to Valentine’s Day and the fun between them, without getting sick.

Approximately 80,000 people died last year from the flu (the flu can be incredibly dangerous), so I am satisfied that a simple intervention such as an injection or a nasal spray can prevent such a serious illness. That’s why I ask each of my patients: “Have you been vaccinated against the flu?”

Sometimes I have a patient who rejects the flu vaccine. Often this is because they mistakenly believe that the vaccine will give them the flu. They or someone they know through the grapevine got a flu shot in the past and then they got sick, which led them to conclude that the flu shot was to blame.

I’m not discounting your symptoms, you may have had the cold or the flu, but it was not because of the flu shot. In fact, if they had not received the vaccine, they could have become much sicker.

You can not get the flu from the flu shot. Flu vaccines contain killed flu viruses or influenza virus proteins, not the virus itself. The nasal spray vaccine against flu uses flu viruses that are altered so they can not get the flu.

Now, the side effects of the flu shot may mimic a mild cold. And this is what some people might be experiencing. After the flu shot you may feel some pain, pain at the injection site, or low-grade fever, and the nasal spray may be followed by a runny nose, headache, sore throat, or cough. . But none of this is even close to the intensity of the flu, where it suddenly hits you hard with fever, aches, chills, weakness and cough.

There are people who get the flu even though they were vaccinated. After receiving the injection or nasal spray, it takes about 2 weeks for your immune system to develop antibodies to fight the influenza virus, so during that time you might get sick with the flu (so you should get vaccinated early in the season). ). !).

In addition, the flu vaccine targets flu viruses 3 to 4 that are more likely to be common in each season, and usually work well. The CDC reports that during the 2016-2017 flu season, the vaccine prevented an estimated 5.3 million diseases. But you may get the flu from another flu virus that is circulating in your community. And if you are older or have a chronic medical problem that weakens your immune system, you may also be more vulnerable to getting the flu.

After receiving the flu vaccine, if you get the flu, it will be milder and shorter than if you had not been vaccinated. There are numerous studies that show that the flu vaccine reduces the risk of complications related to influenza that can lead to hospitalizations, intensive care stays and even death.

Conclusion: the flu vaccine does not cause the flu, it helps to prevent it.


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