Influenza Vaccine – Flu Shot
The flu shot is a vaccine that can reduce your risk of getting influenza. There are multiple strains of influenza that circulate each year. Flu shots contain protection against several of the most common influenza strains.
Influenza vaccines are given each year in the fall / winter. Since the influenza virus mutates rapidly, last year’s flu shot may not protect against this year’s strains.
Who should get a flu shot?
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a yearly flu shot.
Influenza vaccination is particularly important for:
- pregnant women
- young children
- older adults
- people with chronic medical conditions (diabetes, asthma, etc)
Can the flu shot give me the flu?
Thankfully, no. Injectable flu shots do not contain any live influenza virus. Some people experience side effects to the vaccine, but side effects are uncommon and typically mild.
Side Effects of the Flu Shot
Other than mild soreness at the injection site, most people do not experience significant side effects from the flu shot. When side effects occur, they may include:
- redness or swelling at the injection site
- body aches
- low grade fever