Question

Cold and Flu

Can I get the flu if I've had a flu shot?

A Answers (2)

  • AStacy Wiegman, PharmD, Pharmacy, answered
    The risk of getting the flu after taking the flu shot is low. Studies from previous years show that the flu vaccine, whether given as a shot or nasal spray, appears to protect about 7 out of 10 people from getting sick. The effectiveness of the vaccine during any given flu season depends on the health of the person who receives it and how well-matched the viruses in the vaccine are to the particular viruses circulating at the time.

    People whose immune systems are compromised and elderly people are most likely to contract the flu, even if they've been vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The vaccine itself does not cause the flu.
  • ADiana Blythe, Pediatrics, answered on behalf of Pediatric Associates

    You cannot get the flu, or influenza, from the flu shot. However, you can still get the flu if you are exposed before protection starts.

    After getting the flu shot, your body needs around two weeks to create an immune response capable of fighting off the flu. If you get the flu shot and then get exposed to the flu virus a week later, you may not have the full protection that the flu shot would have given you the next week. 

    In addition, the flu shot only offers protection against the three most common flu types of the season. If you are exposed to another type of the flu, you will not have protection. Because of this, it is important to get your flu shot every flu season in order to get protection from the flu types of that particular season.

    Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
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