FOR UK HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS ONLY

This section is intended for healthcare professionals and associated healthcare employees who are involved in patient care or service provision for influenza immunisation in the UK only – this includes (but is not limited to) GPs, nurses, practice managers, pharmacists, and pharmacy counter assistants.

I AM A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL OR ASSOCIATED HEALTHCARE EMPLOYEE I AM NOT A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL OR ASSOCIATED HEALTHCARE EMPLOYEE

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.

References

  1. NHS Choices. Flu vaccine FAQs. July 2016. Available online: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vaccinations/Pages/flu-vaccine-questions-answers.aspx (accessed July 2018)
  2. 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)
  3. 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)

Adverse Event Reporting

I AM A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL OR ASSOCIATED EMPLOYEE I AM NOT A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL OR ASSOCIATED EMPLOYEE