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Ask the Expert: Flu Shot 101


Q: Will the flu shot give me the flu?

A: No, the flu shot is not a living virus, so you cannot get the flu from it. It may cause symptoms such as drowsiness, headache, fatigue, sore throat, soreness at the injection site and/or aches lasting one or two days. These symptoms are reactions to the vaccine, not an infection. Occasionally, people may get sick around the same time as their flu shot and may mistake that as being caused by the vaccine.

Q: How do I know if I should get the flu shot?

A. Everybody should get the flu shot unless told otherwise by their primary care provider. The flu shot is important because it promotes something called "herd immunity," This means that everyone who can be vaccinated should be vaccinated to help protect those who are unable to get the vaccine. This prevents the spread of illnesses and helps protect infants, elderly and the immune-compromised (like patients with diabetes, cancer or HIV ). When we all get flu shots, it protects those of us who would be most hurt by the flu. Doing your part is important for your sake, as well as the sake of your family and others with whom you may come in contact.

Andrew Mossman, FNP-C
CaroMont Urgent Care

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Categories: Q&A