View Full Version : Flu shots

10-20-2007, 12:44 PM
It is that time of the year when I can get a free flu shot.

I had a flu shot several years ago and had a nagging mild sickness for about 2 weeks afterwards.

Do flu shots cause you to get sick? Is there a medical consensus for or against them?

Harriet the Spry
10-20-2007, 01:38 PM
Here is what the CDC has to say about the flu shot.


There seems to be a consensus that some people should get the flu shot, but unless you fall in the risk groups there doesn't seem to be a consensus that you should get the shot. There also seems to be a consensus that some people should check with a doctor before getting a flu shot (e.g. egg allergy).

According to them, symptoms like you describe usually last a couple days, not 2 weeks. I have also heard, and it was consistent with my experience, that those symptoms are more common the first time you get the flu shot. This year, I definitely did not get any of those mildly achy type symptoms.

10-20-2007, 03:31 PM
I get them every year, and so do my kids. No ill effects, except for a hard, hot, red spot around my son's injection site (went away in a couple of days).

mr. jp
10-20-2007, 03:47 PM
Technically, yes they cause you to get sick, or at least get an immune response. This is how they work. They are a very harmless version of the pathogen that you want to vaccinate against. Your body remembers the antibodies it needs, for future encounters of the real virus.

If the vaccine version is not that useless, and your immune response is weak, then you can possibly get sick to the degree that you can feel it. But this shouldnt happen. And if your immune system is that weak, I would get the shot anyway, out of fear of the real virus.