Q: Does the flu vaccine give me the flu?
A: No. The flu vaccine does not give you the flu. The flu vaccine is made with flu vaccine viruses that have been “inactivated” and therefore do not cause infection. The most common side effects from the flu vaccine are soreness, tenderness and redness as the injection site. Low-grade fever, headache, or muscle aches may occur, but should subside in one to two days.
Q: Is it better to get the actual flu instead of the flu vaccine?
A: No. The flu can be a serious disease, especially for young children, older adults and people with chronic health conditions like asthma, heart disease or diabetes.
Q: Do I need the flu vaccine every year?
A: Yes. It is recommended that everyone six months and older, that do not have risk factors to receiving the flu vaccine, should receive it annually. The immunity protection acquired from last season’s flu vaccine can decline. Receiving a flu vaccine annually better protects you for the upcoming flu season.
Q: Can I still get the flu even if I’ve had my flu vaccine?
A: There are many reasons why an individual can still develop flu or cold symptoms even after receiving the vaccine. These include:
The person experiencing illness may have been exposed to influenza viruses prior to receiving their flu vaccine or during the two weeks following injection while the body was still developing immunity.
There are many viruses in our environment besides flu that a person can acquire and develop symptoms similar to the flu.
They acquired viruses that do not match the viruses selected to make the vaccine.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention