The viruses in the flu shot are killed, so people cannot get the flu from a flu vaccine. However, because it takes about two weeks for people to build up immunity after they get the flu vaccine, some people may catch the flu shortly after their vaccinated, if they are exposed to the flu during this time period.
Minor infections are not a reason to avoid the flu shot. On the other hand, you should avoid the nasal spray flu vaccine when you have a sinus infection. The nasal spray works when it contacts the skin on the inside of your nose. In general, a mild infection without a fever should not stop you from getting a flu shot.
All Walgreens Pharmacies and Healthcare Clinics Now Offering Flu Shots Daily. Flu shots are available during all pharmacy and clinic hours while an immunizing health professional is on duty, including evenings, overnights at 24-hour pharmacy locations, weekends and holidays1, and no appointment is necessary.
In terms of infectious illnesses, germs make you sick, not cold weather itself. You have to come in contact with rhinoviruses to catch a cold. And you need to be infected with influenza viruses to contract the flu. Rhinoviruses peak in spring and fall, and influenza viruses peak in winter.
Getting a flu shot does not weaken your immune system and make you more likely to get the flu. Getting a flu vaccine prepares your immune system for the flu. A flu vaccine teaches your immune system to recognize that virus as a threat.
If you have a minor illness or a slight fever it is not a reason to skip your flu shot. However, if you have a high fever (102 degrees or greater) you should put off your flu shot until your fever comes down. If you are taking antibiotics you can still receive your flu shot.
Flu season runs from October to May, with most cases happening from late December to early March. But the flu vaccine is usually offered from September until mid-November. Even as late as January, there are still a few months left in the flu season, so it's still a good idea to get protected.
Traditional flu shots are trivalent (three-component) vaccines because they protect against three viruses: two influenza A viruses (H1N1 and H3N2), and one influenza B virus. A person can also get a quadrivalent (four-component) vaccine, which protects against an additional B virus.
Unfortunately, no. Experts say it is possible to catch the flu twice in one season. But a smaller portion of people (around 10 to 15 percent) are getting the H1N1 strain or the influenza B virus, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If You Have a Cold. For the most part, common cold symptoms do not prevent you from getting a flu vaccine. A cough, congestion, headache, and sore throat won't affect your body's response to the vaccine.
Common side effects from the flu shot include:
- Soreness, redness, and/or swelling from the shot.
- Muscle aches.
The CDC recommends annual influenza vaccinations for everyone age 6 months or older. Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk of influenza complications, including: Pregnant women. Older adults.
A. You can't get exactly the same one, as your body will have developed antibodies to it. But “cold and flu viruses mutate, so there are subtly different forms of the virus,” says Caroline Rudnick, an assistant professor of community and family medicine at St. Louis University.
This time of year is called “flu season.” In the United States, flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter months. Influenza activity often begins to increase in October and November. Most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February and can last as late as May.
Other reactions following the flu shot are usually mild and can include a low grade fever and aches. If these reactions occur, they usually begin soon after the shot and last 1-2 days. The most common reactions people have to flu vaccine are considerably less severe than the symptoms caused by actual flu illness.
For most flu vaccines, the strains of the viruses are grown in hens' eggs. The viruses are then killed (deactivated) and purified before being made into the vaccine. Because the injected flu vaccine is a killed vaccine, it cannot cause flu.
Bottom line: It's normal to feel soreness, redness, tenderness, or even develop a mild fever or body aches during the two days after you get vaccinated—that's just your immune response, not the flu illness itself. So there's no reason to avoid getting the flu shot because you think it'll make you sick.
The needle stick may also cause some soreness at the injection site. Rarely, people who get the flu shot have fever, muscle pain, and feelings of discomfort or weakness. If experienced at all, these effects usually last for 1-2 days after vaccination and are much less severe than actual flu illness.
Outlook for flu vaccines. The flu vaccine is considered safe. You can't catch the flu from the vaccine, because the virus in the vaccine has been killed or weakened. The live vaccine isn't recommended for people with a weaker-than-normal immune system.
Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a rare disorder in which a person's own immune system damages their nerve cells, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis. Many things can cause GBS, although you chances of developing GBS may increase after getting a flu shot or other vaccination.
According to the CDC, mild side effects from the flu shot include soreness, redness or swelling at the injection site, low-grade fever and aches. Only about 1 percent to 2 percent of people who get a flu shot will have fever as a side effect, Schaffner said.