Did the Flu Shot Make Me Sick?

Did the Flu Shot Make Me Sick?

Updated December 2020. 

Have you heard rumors that the flu vaccine doesn’t really work? Or, heard from friends who say that they actually got the full-blown virus as a result of getting vaccinated? Let’s clear up this confusion once and for all!

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), vaccination is the most effective way to prevent infection. Flu vaccines are currently the best way to prevent an outbreak and are recommended for people of all ages. Populations at greater risk of complications related to the flu include children under the age of 2 years old, adults age 65 or older, and anyone with a chronic health condition.

It’s often hard to tell the difference between the common cold and the flu, because the symptoms are similar. However, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), flu symptoms tend to be a higher degree of severity than common cold symptoms and may include: 

  • A fever
  • A cough and/or sore throat
  • A runny or stuffy nose
  • Headaches and/or body aches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea

The CDC says that the flu vaccine cannot cause flu illness. If you get a flu shot, you may still experience some of these symptoms, but they will be mild and will not last long. This does not mean that you have the flu! 

Whether or not you’ve received the shot, it is understandable that you might be worried when experiencing symptoms. See a board-certified doctor online and get your questions answered right now. For more severe symptoms like difficulty breathing, chest pain, seizures, or persistent vomiting, seek emergency medical treatment immediately.

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