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What is flu shot?

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There are actually two kinds of vaccines: One is given as a shot (an injection) and one is given as a nasal spray. The shot is made with dead influenza viruses -- up to four different strains. The nasal spray is made with live viruses that have been weakened. Neither vaccine causes flu, but they will make your body's immune system create antibodies. The strains of influenza virus are chosen each year based on which ones scientists predict will be going around that season.

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 can get the nasal spray 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.

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