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A member asked:

there are a couple benefits to not getting the flu shot (you have to admit). i think i know of one of them. am i right? with the flu, i would prefer to risk getting it while i am young and healthy. i believe that when i am older, i will have more immuni

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Internal Medicine 41 years experience
I : I disagree with you. The flu vaccine contains weakened or dead form of the virus. Your body recognizes the virus as an antigen and your immune system forms antibodies to fight the dead virus. That way, if your body is exposed to the flu virus, your body has already built immunity against the virus. The fact is, each year, the flu virus mutates and has a different molecular form. The antibodies that your body built against the previous virus won't typically recognize and fight the new mutated virus. This is why getting the vaccine each season is highly recommended. Getting vaccines is a wonderful way to build immunity in the body because your body develops antibodies based on the weakened virus within the vaccine. Protecting yourself against the flu by getting the vaccine is also protecting your family, friends and community from getting the flu. If you do not catch the flu, then you cannot spread it to others. Also, if you do get the flu, it will likely be less severe than if you opted not to since your body has built immunity. Another item to consider is that influenza can be so severe to some people that it can cause severe respiratory distress, requiring admission to the hospital (such as with h1n1 flu) and mechanical ventilation. The flu vaccine is highly recommended to protect against the illness....That and good handwashing.
Dr. Tim Conrad
Ophthalmology 34 years experience
No: The immunity you get from the vaccine is the same as you get from the flu itself. The flu virus mutates every year and the flu vaccine is modified to reflect this. Getting yearly flu shots offers the best chance of preventing the flu.

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A 44-year-old member asked:

Can I get the flu from a flu shot?

22 doctor answers39 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barbara A Majeroni
Specializes in Family Medicine
No.: No. There is no live virus in the flu shot, so it cannot give you the flu. Flu shots are recommended for everyone over age 6 mo.
A 46-year-old member asked:

What are the chances of getting the flu after having the flu shot?

1 doctor answer5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Diamond
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Much less Likely: It is a physical impossibility to get the flu from the shot. Is the shot 100% effective to preventing getting the flu naturally-no. But your odds go way down.
A 32-year-old member asked:

What's the point of getting the flu shot if there hasn't been a flu outbreak the past 2 years?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
U a gambler?: Preventive care, whether its a regular checkup or a flu shot is a simple bet. You decide not to risk a poorly timed bad illness/condition/flu by seeking vaccine or early detection at your convenience. I don't know ? U live but flu was bad here last year & at any one time several strains are circling the globe thanks to asymptomatic carriers & international flights.Skip if u want, i get one yearly.
A 43-year-old member asked:

Got flu this year even if though got the flu shot?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Martin Raff
Infectious Disease 56 years experience
Not unusual: Influenza vaccine contains the strains of the virus most commonly in circulation at the beginning of the year. The virus mutates (drifts), and so you may have only partial protection, you may have been infected with a different strain, with influenza b, or with a completely different virus which resembles influenza (parainfluenza, adenovirus, etc.).
A 34-year-old member asked:

Why do people say they always get the flu when they get a flu shot?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Michael Klein
Family Medicine 21 years experience
Cold season: "flu shot season" as i like to think of it occurs (for good reason) well before flu season. It sadly coincides with the winter cold and cough season and often with the return to school. This is a time of year when almost everyone catches a cold, and often the cold they coincidentally get around the time of the shot is mistaken for getting the flu. It is impossible to get the flu from the shot.

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Last updated Oct 3, 2016

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