Flu Shot

Each year you hear the stories about how someone got the flu shot and then they say the next day they got the flu from it.

Moms and dads, this is not true! The flu shot cannot give you the flu! Honestly, it is not possible to get the flu from a flu shot! The stories simply aren’t true.

The reason is that the influenza shot, like most vaccines contains inactivated viruses. Come on now, there is just no way to get a disease from an inactivated virus, not even a mild version of it. There are some minor side effects from the flu shot. These include slight fever, aches and soreness, redness, or swelling where you got the shot.

If you do get the shot you may get a sore arm, if anything; most people do. If you do experience side effects they will appear soon after the shot; the good news is that they only last for a day or two. Remember however, that any side effects from the shot are much milder than flu symptoms.

On the other hand, if you get the nasal spray flu vaccine it does contain live viruses. But guess what? You can’t catch the flu from this either. Because the virus is weakened and your lungs have a very warm temperature, it can’t survive in you.

There are some side effects from the nasal spray vaccine too. These include a runny nose, wheezing, headache, vomiting, fever and muscle aches.

Once you get the flu shot it will take your body two weeks to develop the antibodies that will protect you. So if you do happen to get the flu within two weeks after getting the shot, don’t blame the vaccine. You are susceptible to the flu up to two weeks after getting either the shot or nasal spray.

Each year the flu vaccines protect best against the three or four influenza viruses that are expected to be most common in a given year. The shot covers three or four viruses varying based on the shot you get.

The nasal spray protects against four. Contact your pediatrician as to whether they think your child should get a flu shot. If you do get a flu shot for yourself and your child, get them early on in the season to protect yourselves as soon as possible.

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