Getting a flu shot is the best way to protect yourself, your family and vulnerable people in our community
Flu shots can reduce flu illnesses, doctor visits, and missed work or school due to the flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.
A 2017 study in Pediatrics was the first to show that flu vaccination also significantly reduced a child’s risk of dying from influenza.
The more people who get vaccinated, the more people will be protected from the flu — including older people, very young children, pregnant women, and people with certain long-term health conditions who are more vulnerable to serious flu complications.
What’s new this flu season?
The recommendation not to use the nasal spray flu vaccine (LAIV) was renewed for the 2017-2018 season. Only injectable flu shots are recommended for use again this season.
Flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses (the influenza A(H1N1) component was updated).
Pregnant women may receive any licensed, recommended, and age-appropriate flu vaccine.
Main options for flu shots this season
Standard-dose flu shots
Most are given into the muscle with a needle (one is given into the skin). The virus used to make vaccine is dead; you cannot get the flu from a flu shot! MainStreet has this quadravalent.
High-dose shots for older people
There are now data that this stronger dose of shot adds greater flu protection in people 65 and over – an especially vulnerable segment of our population. This version is available at several local pharmacies and it is paid for by Medicare.
Source: Centers for Disease Control (#FightFlu)
Fact Check: Can the flu vaccine give me the flu?
No. The flu vaccine is made with killed virus or a recombinant method using non-living ingredients.
So the flu shot can’t give you the flu. But a few people may develop flu-like symptoms after getting a flu shot for a variety of reasons, including:
- Reaction to the vaccine. Some people experience muscle aches and a slight fever for a day or two after receiving a flu shot. This may be a side effect of your body’s production of protective antibodies.
- The two-week window. It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to take full effect. If you’re exposed to the influenza virus shortly before or during that time period, you might catch the flu.
- Mismatched flu viruses. In some years, the influenza viruses used for the vaccine don’t match the viruses circulating during the flu season. If this occurs, your flu shot will be less effective, but may still offer some protection.
- Other illnesses. Many other diseases, such as the common cold, also produce flu-like symptoms. So you may think you have the flu when you actually don’t.