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The flu shot can cause mild side effects that are sometimes mistaken for flu. These side effects are caused by a person’s immune system making protective antibodies in response to being vaccinated. These antibodies are what allow the body to fight against flu. It is rare for someone to experience fever, muscle pain, and feelings of discomfort or weakness. If experienced at all, these effects usually last one to two days after vaccination and are much less severe than actual flu illness.
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Seasonal flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza A or B viruses. It spreads between people and can cause mild to severe illness. In some cases, the flu can lead to death. In the United States, flu season occurs in the fall and winter. Seasonal flu activity usually peaks in January or February, but it can occur as early as October and as late as May.
The best way to protect yourself and other people from getting the flu is to get a flu vaccine every year. It is recommended everyone 6 months of age and older get the flu vaccine. Seasonal flu vaccines are safe and effective; they are available as shots or nasal spray.
Everyone 6 months of age or older should get a flu vaccine this season. It is especially important for some groups of people to get vaccinated, such as:
Find more information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Yes. If you have completed your five-day isolation period and are not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, you can receive your flu vaccine right away.
The flu vaccine’s ability to prevent illness can range widely from season to season. Recent studies have shown the vaccine reduces your risk of getting sick by 40-60%. Flu vaccinations are proven to effectively prevent and lessen severity of illness, especially when the flu vaccine is well matched to circulating flu viruses.
Flu vaccines are safe and effective. The most common side effects following flu vaccinations are mild. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration closely monitor for any signs that flu vaccines are causing unexpected adverse events and are working with state and local health officials to investigate any unusual events.
Possible side effects include:
The intradermal (between the layers of the skin) flu shot may cause additional mild side effects, such as toughness or itching where the shot was given. Side effects typically begin soon after the shot is given and usually last one to two days. Life-threatening allergic reactions are very rare. If any unusual condition occurs following vaccination, seek medical attention right away.
No, a flu shot cannot give you the flu. While you may experience short-term side effects after your vaccine, it is not the flu. Vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against flu illness.
It is still possible to get the flu even if you are vaccinated. This can happen for several reasons: