This may come as a surprise to many, but you can't get the flu from the flu vaccination itself. You just can't; the virus is in the vaccination is inactivated (that mean's it's been killed). You can't get it from the nasal spray, for that matter, either. But despite this, many people's personal experience sometimes suggests otherwise. There's a good reason for this happening, though, and it's not the fault of the vaccination; it's your body. It takes two weeks, give or take a day or two, after you've been vaccinated for your body to build up a level of antibodies great enough to protect itself against the flu when you are exposed, but in the meantime you're just as vulnerable as you were the day before you got vaccinated. Plus, the flu vaccine can only protect you from the known strains of the flu that were around when the vaccine was formulated. If a new strain develops, you won't be covered.
Author's Note: 5 Things That Don't Prove Your Flu Shot Didn't Work
I've gotten a flu shot every year for probably about the last 12 years I think -- except for this year. I have no good reason why I skipped the shot this year. But I just learned in researching this article that it's (probably) still not too late to be vaccinated. In the meantime, no one breathe near me.
More Great Links
- American Association of Endodontists. "More Americans Fear losing Natural Tooth Than Getting Flu or Root Canal." (Feb. 7, 2014) https://www.aae.org/about-aae/news-room/press-releases/more-americans-fear-losing-natural-tooth-than-getting-flu-or-root-canal.aspx
- Bernard-Kuhn, Lisa. "Americans have gotten complacent, with fewer than half getting flu vaccine last season." Newark Advocate. Jan. 21, 2014. (Feb. 7, 2014) http://www.newarkadvocate.com/article/20140120/NEWS01/301200024/Americans-gotten-complacent-fewer-than-half-getting-flu-vaccine-last-season
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Norovirus." July 26, 2013. (Feb. 7, 2014) http://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Preventing Seasonal Flu With Vaccination." Sept. 30, 2013. (Feb. 7, 2014) http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/index.htm
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Seasonal Influenza: Flu Basics." Sept. 12, 2013. (Feb. 7, 2014) http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/index.htm
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Selecting the Viruses in the Seasonal Influenza (Flu) Vaccine)." March 9, 2011. (Feb. 7, 2014) http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/vaccination/virusqa.htm
- Cleveland Clinic. "Colds versus the Flu: Which Do I Have and How is it Treated?" (Feb. 7, 2014) http://my.clevelandclinic.org/disorders/common_cold/hic_the_common_cold_and_viral_upper_respiratory_illness.aspx
- Grush, Loren. "Flu outbreak: Why are so many not getting vaccinated?" Fox news. Jan. 10, 2013. (Feb. 7, 2014) http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/01/10/flu-outbreak-why-are-so-many-not-getting-vaccinated/
- Harvard Health Publications - Harvard Medical School. "10 flu myths." (Feb. 7, 2014) http://www.health.harvard.edu/flu-resource-center/10-flu-myths.htm
- Neel, Joe. "How Many People Die From Flu Each Year Depends How You Slice The Data." NPR. Aug. 26, 2010. (Feb. 7, 2014) http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2010/08/26/129456941/annual-flu-death-average-fluctuates-depending-on-how-you-slice-it
- Norqvist, Christian. "What Is Norovirus Infection? What Causes Norovirus Infection?" Medical News Today. May 29, 2013. (Feb. 7, 2014) http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/179107.php
- South Dakota Department of Health. "Common Viral Respiratory Diseases." (Feb. 7. 2014) http://doh.sd.gov/diseases/infectious/diseasefacts/common-viral-respiratory-diseases.aspx
- Stein, Rob. "Can You Get A Flu Shot And Still Get The Flu?" NPR. Jan. 8, 2013. (Feb. 7, 2014) http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/01/08/168814935/can-you-get-a-flu-shot-and-still-get-the-flu
- Szabo, Liz. "More types of flu shots available this year than ever." USA Today. Sept. 10, 2013. (Feb. 7, 2014) http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/09/10/flu-shot-choices/2777141/
- Vermont Department of Health. "Flu Vaccine Facts & Myths." (Feb. 7, 2014) http://healthvermont.gov/prevent/flu/myths.aspx
- WebMD. "Flu Statistics: What Are Your Odds of Getting the Flu?" March 19, 2013. (Feb. 7, 2014) http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/flu-statistics
- WebMD. "Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Infection." Aug. 25, 2011. (Feb. 7, 2014) http://www.webmd.com/lung/tc/respiratory-syncytial-virus-rsv-infection-topic-overview
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