Can You Get The Flu From A Flu Shot?

Can you get the flu from a flu shot? The simple answer is no.

The more elaborate answer is that influenza vaccines are usually comprised of inactivated genetic material from an influenza virus. This exposure is what allows for the body to manufacture antibodies which can recognize and terminate a virus before infection. An inactive, dead version of the virus such that vaccines use cannot cause infection itself.

But what about side effects?

There are some side effects associated with the flu shot. Generally, these are limited to tenderness and swelling associated with vaccination’s primary method of delivery: injection.

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In addition to these, there are some additional side effects, including headache and low grade fever. However, these side effects can be attributed to the immune system’s response to the dead genetic material from the virus and are not an indication of infection from influenza.

Can you get the flu even if you’ve had a flu shot?

The creation of flu vaccines is a complicated process, and influenza is difficult to vaccinate against because its genetic makeup can change so rapidly. The Center for Disease Control is tasked with predicting that “antigenic drift” so that vaccines are up to date.

This means that although your annual flu shot will provide protection against illness, you can still get the flu even if you’ve been inoculated.

Furthermore, there are endless different strains of influenza. Therefore, a flu shot will contain genetic material from multiple (generally 3 or 4) strains of the virus to promote immunity against several different viruses at once.

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While flu shots are routine, our team of doctors and nurses can ensure that all the guesswork is taken out of vaccination. We will come right to your door so that you never have to leave the comfort of your own home this flu season.

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