PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

How does the flu shot work?

ANSWER

The shots prompt your body to get ready to fight an infection from the flu virus. It helps you create tools, called antibodies, to fight the virus when you're exposed to it.

Doctors tweak the vaccine each season. They choose strains based on the ones they think are most likely to show up that year.

The vaccine itself doesn't cause the flu. But it does take about two weeks to start working. Some people get it, then catch the virus before their body is ready to fight it. It's human nature to see a link between the two events, but the flu shot cannot cause the flu or make you more likely to get it. They don't work all the time. You can get sick even if you get one, but your illness will likely be milder than if you skip the vaccine.

SOURCES:

CDC: "Estimating Seasonal Influenza-Associated Deaths in the United States: CDC Study Confirms Variability of Flu," “Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine.”

Flu.gov. 

American Lung Association.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: "Flu (Influenza): Prevention."

National Jewish Medical and Research Center: "Is it better to use a flu inhaler or get a flu shot?"

American Lung Association: "Cold and Flu Guidelines: Influenza."

FDA: "Influenza: Vaccination Still the Best Protection."

MedlinePlus: "Flu," "Common Cold."

GlaxoSmithKline.

Flu Near You website.

News release, American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on July 12, 2017

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

SOURCES:

CDC: "Estimating Seasonal Influenza-Associated Deaths in the United States: CDC Study Confirms Variability of Flu," “Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine.”

Flu.gov. 

American Lung Association.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: "Flu (Influenza): Prevention."

National Jewish Medical and Research Center: "Is it better to use a flu inhaler or get a flu shot?"

American Lung Association: "Cold and Flu Guidelines: Influenza."

FDA: "Influenza: Vaccination Still the Best Protection."

MedlinePlus: "Flu," "Common Cold."

GlaxoSmithKline.

Flu Near You website.

News release, American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on July 12, 2017

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

    Other Answers On: