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Does the flu shot cause the flu or cold?

Updated: Dec 17, 2021

As winter approaches, the choice whether or not to get vaccinated from the flu becomes an important topic. Many may choose to not get vaccinated, believing that the flu vaccine may cause one to contract a cold or the flu itself, but that is not the case. In fact, it has become increasingly important to get the flu vaccine in times like these in which COVID is still prevalent. Given its safety, effectiveness, and importance during the COVID pandemic, the flu vaccine should be taken.

Like many vaccines, flu vaccines are created with either inactivated viruses or only a single protein from the flu virus. Because the vaccine is inactivated, it is impossible to contract the flu or even a cold from it. Those who get sick after receiving a flu vaccination may believe that it was caused by the flu vaccine; however, since it is impossible to contract the flu from the vaccine, the cause of the sickness was inevitable, not because of the vaccine. The sole reason the inactivated viruses or single proteins are in the vaccine are to trigger the body's immune system, producing antibodies to fight these viruses without one getting sick.

It is also important to take the flu vaccine because it is effective in preventing one from getting sick with the flu. In fact, the flu vaccination prevents millions of illnesses and flu-related visits to the doctor every year. The flu vaccine has been shown to reduce the risk of having to go to the doctor through a flu-related sickness between 40 to 60 percent. The CDC confirms that getting the vaccine is the most effective way of not getting the flu. In an unexpected way, the shot decreases the rate of major heart problems in people with heart disease.

Above all else, the COVID pandemic has made it increasingly important for one to get the flu shot. The American Journal of Infection Control has found that those who received a flu shot have only a low chance of contracting COVID-19 and getting the flu vaccine can make one’s immune system stronger. The data has shown a positive correlation between getting the flu vaccine and preventing the spread of the COVID, making it even more important for one to get the flu vaccine.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the effectiveness and safety of the flu vaccine, it is important that everyone who is able to get the vaccine get it. Unless one has allergies, illnesses that prevent them from getting the vaccine, or have been advised to not get the vaccine by a doctor, the vaccine is completely safe. Those who the vaccine is safe for can get the flu vaccine with their doctor or at a local pharmacy.



American Lung Association. 2021 October 5. Flu Shot and COVID-19 Vaccine: Do I need both?

Cavaco Silva, J. 2020 September 29. What are flu vaccines made of and why?


CDC. 2021 Nov 18. Misconceptions about Flu Vaccines.

Harvard. 2020 October 1. 10 Flu Myths.


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