Flu Shot FAQ
Can the flu shot give you the flu?
No. Flu vaccines are made with either ‘inactivated’ flu viruses that have been killed and therefore are not infectious or by using a single gene from a flu virus. The single gene produces an immune response without causing an infection. However, an immune response can cause mild symptoms such as achy muscles or a low-grade fever.
Do healthy people need to get a flu shot?
Yes, even healthy people should get a flu shot. The flu virus can spread quickly from others up to six feet away and even from surface contact. To avoid influenza and protect yourself and your family, the CDC recommends everyone over the age of six months get the flu vaccine annually.
I got a flu shot last year; why do I need it again?
Flu virus strains change over time, and new vaccines are produced continuously to combat them; that’s why it’s vital to get vaccinated for each flu season. In addition to that, your body’s immune response to vaccines declines over time, so staying current on your vaccines is vital to your health.
The shot doesn’t always work, so why bother?
For the 2018- 2019 flu season, the CDC estimates that the vaccine reduced illness risk by around 47% in vaccinated people. However, this number only measures the risk of being diagnosed with the flu; it does not take into consideration how getting the flu shot can reduce the severity of symptoms.
Flu rates were low last year; if they’re low again this year with COVID around, why bother getting a flu shot?
While scientists can make educated predictions about the upcoming flu season, they cannot be sure. Also, even if flu rates are low, you’re still most at risk if you haven’t received the flu vaccine.
Won’t my COVID vaccine protect me from the flu?
Influenza and SARS-CoV-2 (which causes COVID) are different viruses, so different vaccines protect against them. Some research indicates that receiving a flu shot may reduce the symptoms and severity of COVID infection, but it’s still important to receive both vaccines.
Is it okay to get the flu and COVID shots at the same time?
According to the CDC, it is safe to receive the COVID vaccine and other vaccines on the same day, including the flu vaccine.
What actually is the flu?
Not to be confused with the stomach flu, the flu is actually seasonal influenza, a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza A or B viruses. The flu attacks the body infecting your nose, throat, and lungs. Anyone can catch the flu, but infection rates are generally highest among children.
How do you catch the flu?
The flu is spread from one person to another. When an infected person sneezes, coughs, or even talks, germs in tiny drops of fluid can travel up to six feet away, infecting those in their path. Besides spreading from person to person, the flu virus can survive on hard surfaces for up to 48-hours. It is possible to catch the virus after contacting surface germs.
When is Flu Season?
While you can catch the flu at any point in the year, flu season occurs in the fall and winter months. It often begins in October before peaking between December and February and, at times lasting until May.
COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ
Are the mRNA COVID vaccines actually considered a vaccine?
Yes. Although mRNA vaccines, such as Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna work differently than other types of vaccines, they still trigger an immune response inside your body.
Weren’t the COVID vaccines developed too quickly?
No. Researchers have been studying and working with mRNA vaccines for decades. Interest has grown in these vaccines because they can be developed in a laboratory using readily available materials. This means the process can be standardized and scaled up, making vaccine development faster than traditional methods of making vaccines. So the decades of previous work combined with a fast-spreading virus and global cooperation led to the elimination of wait times and rapid development.
Will a COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?
No. COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way. Both mRNA and viral vector COVID-19 vaccines deliver instructions to our cells to build protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. However, the material never enters the cell’s nucleus, which is where our DNA is kept.
Is it safe for me to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I would like to have a baby one day?
Yes. COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for everyone 12 years and up, including people who are trying to get pregnant now or might become pregnant in the future, as well as their partners. Currently, no evidence shows that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or me.
Can the COVID vaccine give me COVID?
No. None of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever, but these symptoms are normal and are signs that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.
Do COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips?
No. COVID-19 vaccines do not contain microchips. Vaccines are developed to fight against disease and are not administered to track your movement. Vaccines work by stimulating your immune system to produce antibodies, exactly like it would if you were exposed to the disease. After getting vaccinated, you develop immunity to that disease without having to get the disease first.
Can COVID-19 vaccines cause you to be magnetic?
No. Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will not make you magnetic. COVID-19 vaccines do not contain ingredients that can produce an electromagnetic field. All COVID-19 vaccines are free from metals.
Do any of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States shed or release any of their components?
No. Vaccine shedding is the term used to describe the release or discharge of any of the vaccine components in or outside of the body, it can only occur when a vaccine contains a weakened version of the virus. None of the vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. contain a live virus.
Can being around someone who got the COVID vaccine affect my menstrual cycle?
No. Your menstrual cycle cannot be affected by being near someone who received a COVID-19 vaccine. Many things can affect menstrual cycles, including stress, changes in your schedule, problems with sleep, and changes in diet or exercise.
Will getting a COVID-19 vaccine cause me to test positive for COVID-19 on a viral test?
No. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.If your body develops an immune response to vaccination, which is the goal, you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus.
Are all events reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) caused by vaccination?
No. Anyone can report events to VAERS, even if it is not clear whether a vaccine caused the problem, which means VAERS data alone cannot determine if a COVID-19 vaccination caused the reported adverse event. Some VAERS reports may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable. These adverse events are studied by vaccine safety experts who look for unusually high numbers of health problems or a pattern of problems after people receive a particular vaccine.