Question

Vaccines & Immunizations

Can the nasal spray flu vaccine give me the flu?

A Answers (2)

  • AStacy Wiegman, PharmD, Pharmacy, answered
    The nasal spray flu vaccine cannot give you the flu. While it is made with live virus (as opposed to the killed virus used to make flu shots), the virus is weakened and designed only to infect areas where temperatures are cooler, such as the nose. It cannot infect the inside of your body, which is warmer. People tend to experience a few more side effects with the nasal vaccine than after a flu shot. Side effects can include a runny nose, sore throat, and headache.
  • ADiana Blythe, MD, Pediatrics, answered on behalf of Pediatric Associates

    The nasal spray flu vaccine does not give you the flu. Because it is a live virus vaccine, although weakened, you may feel some effects like congestion in your nose. This is not the flu, but rather local effects of the vaccine at the cooler temperatures of your nose.

    For people who are bothered by even these effects, try getting the flu shot instead!

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