Can the Flu Vaccination Really Make You Sick?

There’s a lot of speculation about whether you can get ill from getting a flu vaccination. The short answer is: no. There are two types of flu vaccinations. One is made with  ‘inactivated’ flu viruses, i.e. essentially dead viruses and they cannot cause infection. The other type of is made without using flu viruses. Recombinant influenza vaccine is made this way.

Possible Reaction to the Flu Vaccination

Some people may have a reaction to the vaccine; however, the reactions are usually minimal. Adults may experience redness or swelling at the vaccination site. The reaction is usually short-lived, not any longer than two days. Occasionally an individual may also have a low-grade fever, headache and muscle aches.

These symptoms are the body’s natural immune system kicking in. Antibodies build up because of the foreign bodies being introduced into system. The symptoms that you may experience from getting a flu vaccination are minimal compared to the symptoms of getting influenza.

Serious Reactions to the Flu Vaccine

In very rare occasions, a person may have a serious reaction to the flu vaccination. If a person is going to have such a reaction, it will occur usually within minutes or possibly hours of getting vaccinated. There are very effective treatments for these occurrences when they are administered quickly. Serious reactions can be life threatening and should be handled immediately.

Is it Really Worth Getting Vaccinated?

Each year there are many people who forego getting their flu vaccination. Some are fortunate enough not to get the flu; others are not. For children over the age of six months and for the elderly the truth is, influenza can be fatal. Getting vaccinated saves lives. The internet has heartbreaking stories about children and adults who have died from the flu in the past few years.  Had those people been vaccinated, chances are they would have survived.

Some People Still Get the Flu

It is true that every year there are those who have been vaccinated who still get the flu. It is not the vaccination that causes the sickness; rather, it is one of several factors. The flu vaccination is produced to ward of sickness for particular types of flu. If a person contracts a flu virus of a type not contained in the vaccine, they will most likely get sick. They can also get sick if they were exposed to the virus before getting vaccinated. There are also flu-like symptoms that people can get from other viruses.

Get Your Vaccination

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommends vaccination, particularly for children over six months and for people 65 and over. Contracting influenza can be seriously debilitating and for some it will be fatal. If you have questions about getting vaccinated, you can make an appointment with North Star Medical and we will be happy to give you answers. Contact us and schedule your appointment today for your flu shot.


The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as an advice for any individual case or situation.