Influenza (flu) is a viral respiratory infection of the nose, throat, and sometimes lungs. Symptoms can be mild to severe.
The flu vaccine can reduce your risk of getting the flu by at least 40% – 60%. It’s not 100% effective because there are many different strains of the flu, and the vaccine will protect you from the 3 or 4 strains you’re most likely to be exposed to. But even if you get the flu after being vaccinated, your flu shot can help protect you from having more severe symptoms.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October. However, if you get vaccinated too early (in July or August), your flu shot may not be as effective later in the flu season, particularly if you’re an older adult.
Yes. Common side effects from a flu shot include soreness, redness, and/or swelling where the shot was given, low-grade fever, headache, nausea, muscle aches, and fatigue. Like other injections, getting the flu shot can occasionally cause fainting.
No, you cannot get the flu from the flu shot. This is a common misconception. There is no live flu virus in the flu shot.
Influenza (flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses.
The CDC recommends pregnant women get a flu shot during any trimester of their pregnancy to help protect both mom and baby. It’s important to note that expectant mothers should get the flu shot vaccine, not the nasal spray flu vaccine.
Breastfeeding can help to protect infants from infections like flu, too.