Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: Cold/Flu | flu | shot | cause | influenza

Can the Flu Shot Cause Influenza?

By    |   Tuesday, 26 Nov 2013 09:48 AM

Question: My wife got a flu shot last week and felt sick for several days and her arm was really sore. She thinks the shot gave her the flu, but I've heard that's not possible. What do you think?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
 
You cannot get the flu from a flu vaccine. But you can have temporary aches and discomfort from this, and any other needle vaccine. But these symptoms are not caused by the influenza virus. They are a sign your immune system is reacting to the vaccine.
 
Mild vaccine-related side effects are unfortunate, but experienced by fewer than 10 percent of people who get the vaccines each year. They are not a reason to defer vaccination. The influenza virus is much less forgiving and does cause death, disability, and work loss in young and old people every year.
 
The vaccines are well worth using and it appears that protective effects are cumulative in those who receive annual flu vaccinations.
 

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You cannot get the flu from a flu vaccine, but you can have temporary aches and discomfort.
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