Expert Health Articles

Flu Shot Facts

Dr. Robbie Puckett

Family Medicine
Carey Medical Center

The flu vaccine has been shown to reduce the risk of having to go to the doctor (with the flu) by 40 to 60 percent. It has also been proven to help reduce the risk of hospitalization from the flu.

By receiving the flu vaccine, it protects not only you but all the people around you, including the more vulnerable to illness such as infants, young children, the elderly and the immunocompromised community.

It is a common misconception that the flu vaccine can cause flu. You cannot get flu from the flu vaccine. It is an inactivated vaccine. You may, however, develop flu-like symptoms due to the immune response your body produces to the components of the vaccine. This is a good sign that you are developing a strong immunity to the actual virus.

It is still possible to get the flu despite vaccination, and if you test positive shortly after vaccination, you likely were exposed to the flu virus prior to the vaccine taking full effect, which is up to two weeks.

There are two main types of flu vaccines, the standard flu vaccine and the high dose. The high-dose vaccine is for people aged 65 years and older. The high dose helps this group of people build a stronger immune system response. The standard vaccine is for the 6-month to 64-year age group. This standard dose is sufficient to mount an adequate response in this younger age group.