Although getting the flu vaccine is not a guarantee that you will not experience influenza, it does decrease your chances greatly. Want more information about what the vaccine actually does? Here’s some information from WebMD:
How does the flu shot or influenza vaccine work to prevent flu?
Flu shots and the nasal flu vaccine work by causing antibodies to develop in your body. These antibodies provide protection against infection from the flu virus. This antibody reaction may cause fatigue and muscle aches in some people.
Remember that the flu vaccine cannot cause the flu. Sometimes people who get vaccinated during flu season catch the flu in the two weeks before the vaccine has a chance to work. While it's human nature to see a link between the two events, there's no medical evidence that flu vaccines cause flu or make people susceptible to flu. And even though flu vaccines are not 100% effective -- vaccinated people sometimes get flu infections -- vaccinated people almost always have milder flu than people who weren't vaccinated.
Each year, the flu vaccine contains several different kinds of the virus. The strains chosen are the ones that researchers say are most likely to show up that year.
What are some flu shot side effects?
You can experience soreness and/or swelling in your arm after getting a flu shot.
Some people have cold-like symptoms, including sniffles, headache, runny nose, sore throat, cough, and body aches for a day or two after getting the flu shot. In some cases, you may also experience a low-grade fever.
Serious side effects from the flu vaccine are very rare. If they do occur, it's within a few minutes to a few hours after getting the shot.
It is important to note that the benefits of getting a flu shot far outweigh the risk of flu shot side effects.
Who should talk to their doctor before getting a flu shot?
According to the CDC, you should talk to your doctor before getting a flu shot or influenza vaccine if:
- You have had an allergic reaction to a flu shot in the past
- You have an allergy to eggs, as the influenza vaccine is grown in eggs. People with a severe egg allergy should not get the flu vaccine.
- You have previously had Guillain-Barre syndrome. Guillain-Barre syndrome is a disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the nervous system.
- You are ill. If you have a fever, talk to your health care provider about getting the shot later. If you have a mild illness with no fever, it's OK to get a flu shot.
There will be limited quantities of shot vaccines available in Health Services by the end of the week. (We do not have nasal vaccines.) Also, you can call around to local pharmacies, Target, etc. to see who has doses in stock. In the meantime, be well!