Flu Vaccine FAQs
Flu season is upon us friends and, with the coronavirus still present in our communities, it is now more important than ever to help your family get the flu vaccine to stay safe and support the health-care system around you.
To help you feel informed, confident, and calm when it comes to the flu vaccine and your child, we’ve answered some common questions below…
Common Flu Vaccine Questions and Misconceptions
- How many strains will the vaccine protect me and my child from? All of our flu vaccines are quadrivalent, which means they’ll protect you from 4 strains (2 A strains and 2 B strains) of the flu virus
- Who should get a flu vaccine? The CDC recommends that all people ages 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year unless you have had a severe allergic reaction to a flu vaccine in the past.
- Do some kids need two doses of flu vaccine in one season? If a child (aged 6 months through 8 years old) has never had a flu vaccine before, they require two doses one month apart for the best immune response. This also applies to children (6 mo. to 8 yrs. of age) who have only ever had one flu vaccine in the past.
- Can the flu vaccine give someone the flu? Absolutely not! The flu vaccines that we use are all inactivated vaccines, meaning that the virus is not a live virus and cannot give you the flu. Here’s the CDC’s take on this as well.
- What are the side effects of the flu vaccine? Localized site reaction (pain, redness, swelling), muscle aches, headache, and low-grade fever are the most common side effects of the flu vaccine. These are usually very mild and only last a few days.
- One year my child was vaccinated but still got the flu. Does that mean we should skip the vaccine? Nope, even if a flu vaccine was less effective than you would have liked in years past, you should still make it a priority to get your family vaccinated. The flu vaccine cannot prevent 100% of cases of flu. However, we know those who get the flu even though they were vaccinated, have less severe symptoms compared to those who were unvaccinated.
- Do flu vaccines have preservatives in them? Another big “no” here. The flu vaccines that we use are all preservative-free.
- What if my family was already diagnosed with the flu this season? Do we still need to get the flu vaccine? Yes, even if you or your child have been diagnosed with the flu, your family should still go get the flu shot. There are multiple strains that circulate each season so even if you’ve been sick with one strain, you may still be susceptible to others.
- Is there any negative reaction between the Covid-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine? Thankfully, flu vaccines can be given at the same time as COVID-19 vaccines or at any interval before or after COVID-19 vaccinations. There is no wait period between COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines.
The flu vaccine can provide protection from severe flu symptoms, flu longevity, and even the flu altogether. And, getting your child and yourself vaccinated is one of the best ways to serve your loved ones, the community around you, and our hardworking healthcare workers.
Take your whole family to one of our flu clinics this fall or ask your provider at any appointment to get a flu vaccine added onto the end of your visit!
Until next time,
Dr. Erika Anderson