What is it about swine flu that has people so nervous? Should seniors in particular be worried? To learn more, WebMD went to medical experts and got their answers to these and other questions about the 2009 H1N1 virus.
Truth: You can't get the flu by having a flu
shot. The flu shot is made of killed virus and therefore
cannot cause the flu. And the weakened viruses in the flu nasal spray vaccine can cause symptoms similar to a cold, but they can't cause the flu.
Myth: The vaccine causes unpleasant side
Truth: The vaccine causes no side effects in
most people. Earlier vaccines (1940s to 1960s) did have more
unpleasant side effects, but this is rare now. And an intradermal flu shot is available. A smaller needle is used, and the vaccine is injected into the skin instead of the muscle to reduce discomfort at the time of the shot.
Myth: The vaccine is ineffective because some
people had a flu-like illness after getting a flu vaccine.
Truth: Although getting the vaccine prevents
most people from becoming ill with the flu, some people still become infected.
This may occur because a person is exposed to the virus before getting a
vaccination or before it has taken effect, or because the vaccine does not
match the circulating virus closely enough. A mild illness similar to a cold also can be caused by the live, weakened viruses in the influenza nasal spray vaccine. But any illness is usually
milder than it would be without having had the vaccine.
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
July 09, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this