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FAQs: Is the Flu Vaccine Safe?

Posted on January 28, 2021
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FAQs: Is the Flu Vaccine Safe?

It is important to get your annual flu vaccine to reduce your risk of flu illness, symptoms, and severe complications. But many members of our Facebook and Twitter communities have questions about vaccine safety. Safety is the number one focus in making vaccines. The CDC and the FDA continuously monitor the safety of all vaccines, and new vaccines must go through a series of research and clinical trials before they are deemed safe and effective for the general public.

Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about flu vaccine safety:

Is the flu vaccine safe?

Yes! Flu vaccines have been used for over 50 years and are safely administered to millions of people every year. Vaccines are always carefully studied every year through many different research systems before being dispensed to the public. The flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and loved ones from seasonal flu.

Can I develop Guillain-Barre syndrome from a flu shot?

Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) is a rare neurological disorder where the immune system attacks the nervous system. Guillain-Bare syndrome is very rare. As part of safety protocols, the CDC monitors for GBS each flu season. Monitoring has shown that when there is an increased risk for Guillain-Barre, it has been very minimal. It is more common to develop GBS as a result of the flu (17 in one million) than from the flu vaccine itself (1 in one million). It’s also important to remember that the flu vaccination is the best way to prevent the flu and serious flu-related complications.

What are the common side effects from flu shots?

Most people who receive a flu vaccination will not have any side effects or negative reactions. About 25% of people with the flu shot may experience some redness and slight swelling at the injection site. Common side effects may include fever, headache, and/or muscle aches. For people who have opted for the nasal spray vaccine, the most common side effect is a runny nose. However, these side effects are proof that your body is having an immune response to the vaccine and is working hard to strengthen your immune system against the flu – exactly what it is supposed to do! Although you may experience some of these side effects from the vaccine, the vaccine protects you from the much more severe and serious side effects of the flu.

Check out our FAQs on if the flu vaccine works for more info!

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