Flu Vaccine Quiz – Answer Four

Flu Vaccine Quiz

4. You can get the flu from the flu shot.

ANSWER: False.

The key word here is “shot.” The influenza injection is a killed virus vaccine. There are no active flu particles in it and it cannot give you the flu. When people think they got the flu from the flu shot they are either thinking that the flu shot protects you from the “stomach flu” (which it doesn’t as we know from question #1), they were exposed to the flu within the two week window after immunization when the vaccination is not yet effective, or they are thinking that the expected symptoms of feeling under the weather, body aches, or even a low grade fever for a few days after injection are the flu, when in fact this is just the body’s immune system revving up and building protection against the influenza infection. The actual flu is much worse.

There is another form of influenza immunization, however – the influenza nasal spray. The nasal spray is a live-attenuated vaccine. It does have active flu particles in it that have been weakened to trigger an immune response in healthy individuals. We do not give this form of the flu shot to people with suppressed immune systems (such as chemotherapy patients, patients with leukemia, and others), however, because it could give them the flu.

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