- What is flu?
- What are the symptoms of flu?
- Who is at greatest risk from flu?
- Why should I be vaccinated?
- Where can I get vaccinated?
- When can I get vaccinated?
- How often do I need to be vaccinated?
- Am I eligible for a free vaccination?
- Will a flu vaccination give me flu?
- How does a flu vaccination work?
- How are flu vaccines produced?
Will a flu vaccination give me flu?
This is a very common misconception.
The injectable flu vaccination does not contain any live viruses, so it cannot give you the flu1. You may get a slight temperature and aching muscles for a couple of days after having the injection, or your arm may be a little sore where you had the injection, but other reactions are rare1.
The nasal spray vaccination contains live, but weakened forms of flu viruses. Again, this cannot give you the flu1.
If you have what you think is flu after your vaccination, it may be that you have actually caught flu before your vaccination has taken effect2 (which takes around 10 and 14 days3). Or you may have caught a flu-like virus2.
- NHS Choices. Flu vaccine FAQs. July 2016. Available online: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vaccinations/Pages/flu-vaccine-questions-answers.aspx (accessed July 2018)
- NHS Choices. Flu jab side effects. July 2016. Available online: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/pages/flu-vaccine-side-effects.aspx (accessed July 2018)
- NHS Choices. How the flu vaccine works. July 2016. Available online: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/pages/how-flu-vaccine-works.aspx (accessed July 2018)