No, Virginia, The Flu Shot Won't Give You The Flu

Did you get a flu shot?  For the first time in eight years, I didn't this year,

I know, I know, you can get the flu from the flu shot and if you're allergic to eggs . . . Say what?

It's just not true, says Dr. Jennifer Caudle, Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, at 

“Every year, it’s the same battle,” Caudle writes on her website. “Every year, I urge my patients to get the influenza vaccine. And every year, they come up with a bucketful of excuses.”

Perhaps the most common myth associated with the vaccine is that the shot can actually cause the flu. In her article, Caudle recounts that, when she was a medical student, she became ill a few days after receiving her shot. She notes, however, that it is simply not possible to get influenza from the flu, explaining that, in her case, she may have contracted the virus before the vaccination took full effect or she likely had another type of virus that caused flu-like symptoms, the Web site reports.

“Getting vaccinated not only protects you, but also helps protect others – infants, the elderly and people with certain chronic medical conditions – who may not be able to fight off illness as well as you.”

Because the flu season won’t peak until January or February and can last until May, Caudle says that it’s not too late to vaccinate. She notes that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that vaccinations prevented 79,000 hospitalizations and 6.6 million flu-associated illnesses last year, which was widely considered to be a mild flu season.

And for those of you too young to know who Virginia is, go ask Santa Claus.


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