Understanding the Flu Vaccine

After receiving an annual flu vaccine, some people complain of flu-like symptoms shortly thereafter. While others may conclude that flu-like symptoms are a psychological response to the vaccine, there is truth behind these complaints.

The flu vaccine can protect you and your children against the flu virus. The vaccine contains a weakened form of the flu virus. The vaccine essentially introduces your body to the flu virus before you contract the live virus. If you happen to contract the live virus, your immune system will automatically recognize and destroy the virus before you show any symptoms.

Because the flu vaccine contains a weakened form of the virus, it’s not unusual to experience some mild flu-like symptoms after vaccination. Symptoms may develop within 24 hours of the shot and include:

  • a low-grade fever
  • mild body aches
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • cough
  • fatigue

Fortunately, these symptoms are short-term and typically disappear within one to two days.

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