There are many types (strains) of the flu virus. Medical experts predict which strains are most likely to make people sick each year. Flu shots are made from these strains. When you get a flu vaccine, killed (inactivated) viruses are injected into your body. These can’t give you the flu. But they do cause your body to make antibodies to fight these flu strains. If you are exposed to the same strains later in the flu season, the antibodies will fight off the germs.
The CDC recommends that infants over the age of 6 months and all children and adults should get a flu shot every year. Some people are at an increased risk of developing serious complications from the flu. It is extremely important that these people get the vaccine. They include those with:
It is also very important that others who have an increased risk of beingexposed to the flu or are around people with increased risk for complications get the vaccine. This includes:
The flu vaccine is available as a regular and a high-strength shot. Your healthcare provider will recommend the vaccine that is best for you.
The flu shot is available in a few different forms. Your healthcare provider will determine which vaccine is right for you. There is a high-dose vaccine for those over age 65 and a vaccine for those with egg allergies. It is safe for most people. Talk with your provider if you have had:
The nasal spray is NOT recommended for the 2016-2017 flu season. The CDC says this is because the nasal spray did not seem to protect against the flu over the last several flu seasons. In the past, it was meant for people ages 2 to 49.
Flu symptoms tend to come on quickly. They include:
Upset stomach and vomiting are not common for adults. Some symptoms such as tiredness and cough may last for many weeks.