Why Get The Flu Shot

Posted at 8:39 AM on Dec 5, 2022


The flu shot has never been easier to get. You can schedule to get it at your primary care clinic or even walk into most pharmacies, which offer onsite flu vaccines with little to no wait. However, many of us wonder if it is necessary. Yes, we highly encourage everyone to get the flu shot every year. There are rare exceptions, such as if you have had a severe adverse reaction to the vaccine in the past, but these are uncommon situations. In these situations, you should always discuss your options with your doctor.

What is the Flu Shot?

Influenza, the flu, can be a serious respiratory disease resulting in illness, hospitalization, and even death in severe cases. The flu is highly contagious and, therefore, easily spread. The flu shot protects you from becoming seriously ill if exposed to the influenza virus. Getting the flu shot may also help to better protect those around you, helping to stop the spread of this serious illness.

A new flu shot is needed each year as the virus changes. Meaning the shot you received last year may likely no longer be effective. Additionally, this type of vaccine does not protect you forever, and its effectiveness declines over time. 

Can I get the Flu From the Shot?

No, you cannot get the flu from receiving the vaccine due to how it’s made. The vaccine is made using killed flu viruses (for inactivated vaccines) or without flu virus at all (for the recombinant vaccine). 

Safety and Side Effects of the Flu Shot

The vaccine is safe. According to the CDC, “Extensive research supports the safety of seasonal flu vaccines. Each year, CDC works with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other partners to ensure the highest safety standards for flu vaccines.”

It is common to experience some minor flu-like symptoms after receiving the shot. This may include fatigue, muscle aches, and a low-grade fever. If you experience severe symptoms, you should contact your doctor immediately.

Are There Other Options That Don’t Involve a Shot?

Yes, there is a flu nasal spray that can be administered. However, this type of vaccine is not as commonly used as the flu shot. There are only certain people who can receive the nasal flu vaccine, and several medical conditions in which are advised against receiving the nasal spray vaccine. Talk to your doctor today to determine if this is the right option for you.

Stay Healthy This Winter

Keep yourself and your family healthy over these winter months when we spend more time indoors and the likelihood of illness increases. Northwest Family Clinics offers the flu vaccine starting as young as six months old. Schedule your and your family’s flu shot today!