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How effective is a flu shot?

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After about 2 weeks, the seasonal flu vaccine is about 80% effective in preventing illness.

The viruses used to make the vaccine may not be the only strains causing the flu. It's possible you could be infected with a virus you don't have immunity against. And if you get the flu after getting a flu shot, you'll typically have a milder and shorter case.

From: Seasonal Flu Shot and Nasal Spray WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: 

CDC: "Estimating Seasonal Influenza-Associated Deaths in the United States: CDC Study Confirms Variability of Flu;" "Seasonal Influenza;" and "Burden of Influenza."

Pediatrics , published online Feb. 1, 2011.

FDA: "2009-2010 Seasonal Influenza Vaccines."

KidsHealth.org: "Is the Flu Vaccine a Good Idea for Your Family?"

Flu.gov: "About the Flu."

GlaxoSmithKline.

CDC: "Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine in Children 2 through 8 Years Old." 

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 08, 2018

SOURCES: 

CDC: "Estimating Seasonal Influenza-Associated Deaths in the United States: CDC Study Confirms Variability of Flu;" "Seasonal Influenza;" and "Burden of Influenza."

Pediatrics , published online Feb. 1, 2011.

FDA: "2009-2010 Seasonal Influenza Vaccines."

KidsHealth.org: "Is the Flu Vaccine a Good Idea for Your Family?"

Flu.gov: "About the Flu."

GlaxoSmithKline.

CDC: "Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine in Children 2 through 8 Years Old." 

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 08, 2018

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Who should get a flu shot?

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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.

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