The Flu Vaccine is intended to prevent those vaccinated from being afflicted by the flu.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
How should I get the Vaccine?
There are two different types of flu vaccines, trivalent and quadrivalent.
Trivalent vaccines protect against two influenza A viruses (an H1N1 and an H3N2) and an influenza B virus. Trivalent vaccines are available in:
- Standard-dose trivalent shots (IIV3), approved for use in people six months and older. (Most flu shots are given with a needle. One flu vaccine also can be given with a jet injector, for persons 18 through 64 years old).
- High dose trivalent shot approved for people 65 years or older.
- Recombinant trivalent shot that is egg-free, approved for people 18 years or older.
- A trivalent flu shot made with adjuvant (an ingredient of a vaccine that helps create a stronger immune response in the patient’s body), approved for people 65 years of age and older (new this season).
Quadivalent vaccines protect against two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses. Quadrivalent vaccines are approved for different age groups,and include:
- An intradermal quadrivalent flu shot, which is injected into the skin instead of the muscle and uses a much smaller needle than the regular flu shot. It is approved for people 18 through 64 years of age. This intradermal shot can lower the risk of a shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA) because of the smaller gauge needle that is used.
- A quadrivalent flu shot containing virus grown in cell culture, which is approved for people 4 years of age and older
Does the Flu Vaccine Work Right Away?
It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection. In the meantime, you are still at risk for getting the flu. That’s why it’s better to get vaccinated early in the fall, so you are protected before flu begins spreading in your community.
Should I get the Flu Vaccine if I’m not Feeling Well?
If you are sick with a fever, you should wait until your fever is gone before getting a flu shot. However, you can get a flu shot if you have a respiratory illness without a fever, or if you have another mild illness.
Are there Side Effects?
There are different side effects that may be associated with getting the vaccine. Possible mild side effects include:
- Soreness, redness, and swelling at the injection site
- Fainting, mainly in adolescents
- Fever (low grade)
Serious side effects usually begin within a few minutes to a few hours after receiving the shot. Possible serious side effects of vaccination include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling around the eyes or lips
- Racing heart
- Behavior changes
- High fever
- Guillain-Barre’ Syndrome
- Transverse Myelitis
- Brachial Neuritis
- Brachial Plexus Injury
- Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP)
- Shoulder Injuries (SIRVA) (Tendonitis, Bursitis, Frozen Shoulder)
If you experience any of these reactions, seek medical attention immediately.
How can I Report a Serious Reaction to the Vaccine?
Contact your health care provider immediately if you have a serious reaction to the flu vaccine. Your health care provider should report your reaction to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). You can also file a report yourself. All serious reactions should be reported, even if you aren’t sure it was caused by the flu vaccine. VAERS uses this data to help identify serious reactions that may need further investigation.
If your reaction results in a serious injury, you may qualify for compensation from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). Please contact US Vaccine Law to discuss any possible vaccine injury.
Can I get the Flu from the Vaccine?
No, you cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine. The flu vaccine contains either inactivated (killed) flu viruses that cannot cause illness or no flu viruses at all. The most common side effects from the flu vaccine are soreness, redness, tenderness or swelling where the shot was given. A low-grade fever, headache and muscles aches may also occur.
Is there anyone who should not get the Vaccine?
Talk to your health care provider about vaccination if you have:
- A severe allergy to chicken eggs or any of the ingredients in the vaccine.
- A history of severe reaction to a flu vaccination.
- A moderate-to-severe illness with a fever (you should wait until you are better to get the vaccine).
- Some people with a history of Guillain–Barré Syndrome (a severe paralytic illness, also called GBS) should not get this vaccine. Talk to your doctor about your GBS history.
Vaccine Injuries are rare, but real. Because vaccine injuries occur, Congress started the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. US Vaccine Law is the National Vaccine Injury Law Firm. Vaccine Injury Law is all we do.