Son coming down with something - too late for a flu shot?

Me, not him. I’ve already had the H1N1 and I could get the seasonal flu shot on the way home. Would there be any reason not to?

Son is grown and mostly looks after himself. He thinks he has H1N1, but can’t have been tested, so I don’t know why he’s suspecting it. Other than he feels horrible. He also seems to think that if you’ve just had the shot and then are exposed, you’re more likely to get it because “your body is busy dealing with the shot”.

I’ve never heard of this, and am inclined to dismiss it, but thought I’d ask. Is there any reason not to get the shot, when you may soon be exposed to the flu?


Not sure on you getting a shot, but your body is “busy taking dealing with the shot” by making antibodies. The whole point of the vaccine is to make antibodies that effectively fight the disease; so while it may take some time to reach full immunity, the shot effectively starts working immediately.

I believe the Flu shot (all of them not just H1N1) all take about 1-2 weeks to kick in. Ie: if you get the shot, and then are exposed to the flu 3 days later, you can still come down with the flu.
That said, the way your body deals with the shot is just as the poster above mentioned- it’s making Antibodies to deal with it. So if you catch the same strain as that which you got the shot for- the antibodies will deal with both. However, you’ll still “come down” with the flu.

The point of the vaccine is to stimulate/create MEMORY cells so that when you are re-exposed to the same stimuli, your body will create a massive surge and immediately try to wipe out the offending stimuli before it takes hold. That said, the process takes 10-14 days to come about- to create these memory cells so to speak from the Vaccine.

So if you are exposed to the stimuli and you haven’t had the memory cells, you’ll deal with it just as if you’re dealing w/ the same infection as before- ie: you’ll fight it off as you normally would have, and you’re more likely to have the flu symptoms or such. But having the vaccine wouldn’t make you “weaker” so to speak vs. the Flu.
An easy simple metaphor might be, instead of dealing with 20 lazy sterile bugs that you’re fighting off with a fly swatter and then cleaning up after, you’ll now have to deal with a 100 angry bugs that are capable of reproducing and causing problems +the original 20 lazy bugs and you’ve still got your flyswatter. You’re still going to deal with them the same way with the same tools, but it’s going to be a bit harder because there’s more of them and they’re a bit more potent. Vs. if you got the vaccine, you deal with the 20 bugs, and then you went to the store and picked up some raid or such, so when the 100 angry ones show up, you quickly spray them all and they’re dead quicker than if you had to manually do it.

When I got my H1N1 shot I was asked by no less than 4 people and 2 pieces of paper if I felt sick today or any time recently. They don’t want you getting the shot when you might be ill.

I’ve been told the same thing, with the reasoning that if your immune system is already compromised and trying to fight off an existing infection, it is best to let it finish that job before tossing something else at it.