The flu shot is considered generally safe and effective at preventing or lessening the effects of the seasonal influenza virus. The flu is potentially serious and each flu season is different. Millions of people get the flu each year, resulting in some being hospitalized. To protect yourself from the flu, it is advisable that you get vaccinated for the flu each year.
Each year the flu vaccine contains a weakened form of 3-4 strains of the influenza virus. This helps to train your immune system to recognize and fight off the flu before it makes you sick. It is truly your best defense.
Common Questions About the Flu Shot:
Who should get the flu shot?
It is recommended that everyone 6 months or older receive a flu shot. It is especially important for pregnant women, older adults, young children and people with chronic conditions, such as asthma, cancer, and diabetes, who may be more susceptible to the flu.
Can the flu shot give me the flu?
Sometimes people who receive the flu shot feel flu-like symptoms. This can be for a number of reasons. The most common is that your body is doing what it should be doing. It is recognizing the flu virus and developing antibodies to fight future infections. Another possible reason is that in the 2 weeks that it takes the flu shot to be effective, you may be infected with the flu virus or you could be infected with other illnesses, like the common cold that also produce flu-like symptoms. Lastly, you could be infected by a strain of the flu virus that you are not protected from by getting the flu shot.