» It's already January,
is it not too late to get the flu vaccine?
No, receiving the vaccine now will protect you for
the balance of the winter. Vaccine starts to give you some protection
after 7-10 days. Since we are still just in the middle of the
influenza season, getting vaccine now is still better than nothing.
» I got a flu shot last
year and I still got the flu. Why take it this year?
Flu shots protect you well from the influenza strains in the
vaccine (about 85% of all influenza), but not from ALL influenza,
or from illness due to other viruses. Clinically, you cannot tell
"flu like illness" due to other viruses from influenza. Thus,
any one person cannot tell whether the flu shot is working. In
tests in thousands of healthy persons, flu shots have been shown
to reduce your chances of developing flu like illness by about
» I have already
had the flu this year, why do I need to take the vaccination now?
First, the illness you have had may not have been influenza.
However, even if you have had influenza, it will only have been
due to one strain, and you will still be susceptible to other
strains. Having the vaccination now will still protect you from
» I have heard that
people actually get the flu from receiving the vaccine. Is this
The flu vaccines we have now are purified; that is, they are
composed of only a few proteins of virus strains. The only
side effect from the vaccine is a sore arm, which you can
prevent by talking a dose of acetaminophen when you get your shot.
Even if you have a cough or cold at the time you get your shot,
your immune system will still work well enough to give you protection.
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