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October 15, 2019 | Abigail Mckay

Can the Flu Vaccine Give You the Flu?

Flu season is upon us, and unfortunately, the flu virus, also known as influenza, does not discriminate who it may or may not affect. The leading preventative measure to prevent the flu is the flu vaccination. Proper hand hygiene is also beneficial, but the flu is transmitted by droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected individual. So, sometimes, even good hand hygiene will not be sufficient to stop the spread of the flu.  

 

What is the Flu?

 

The flu is a virus that is common during the fall and winter months. It can cause fever, headache, body aches, fatigue, cough, loss of appetite, a runny nose, and nasal congestion, to name a few. People over the age of 65 and children should take extra precautions during the flu season because the effects of this virus are more deadly in these populations. Also, people who are immunocompromised are at a higher risk. This virus and the consequences of the virus are significantly reduced by getting the flu vaccine. The majority of people who acquire the flu will recover relatively quickly. However, pneumonia and even death are recognized as complications of the flu.  

 

If this virus is relatively preventable, why are people hesitant to receive the flu vaccine? The most common myth regarding the flu vaccine is that it is placing the live virus into your body, thus giving you flu. However, the flu vaccine is an inactive version of the virus given in minuscule amounts. It is not a live virus. Therefore it cannot directly give you the flu. Even the flu vaccination spray, which can be administered nasally in those with a sensitivity to the vaccine, does not cause the flu because it is the weakened form of the virus. Usually, the worst that a flu vaccine will do is cause soreness in the arm of the injection. The nasal spray can cause a headache and congestion.  

 

The vaccine is encouraged for those over six months of age and older. It does take two weeks for the body to sufficiently build-up antibodies to the virus. For best results, it is encouraged to get the vaccine early in the flu season before the infection is rampant. While the flu vaccine does significantly reduce the risk of getting the flu, it is still possible to contract it even after receiving the vaccination. However, if you come down with the flu, even after vaccination, symptoms may be less severe, and the length of the virus may be shortened. Other benefits of the vaccine include protecting those around you and reducing the risk of hospitalization due to the flu.  

 

If you have further questions about the flu vaccine, connect with Cura4u to learn more about the flu and the flu vaccine. It is of utmost importance to take this illness seriously. Do not hesitate to find a facility today that is administering the flu vaccine to protect you and your family.

Abigail Mckay

Abigail has been a nurse for five years, and throughout her time as a nurse, she has worked in multiple medical-surgical units as well as spent time in the infusion therapy clinic and endoscopy lab. She is passionate about preventative medicine through patient education regarding nutrition and exercise. Due to her passion, Abigail has gone on to earn two certifications including a certification in medical-surgical nursing (CMSRN) and a certification in holistic nursing (HNB-BC), in hopes of being able to better serve her patients. Abigail earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA and now bettering patient education in the healthcare system through partnering with American TelePhysicians.

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