I’ll admit I was guilty of believing this myself: that getting a flu vaccine usually meant you’d feel a bit ill for a couple of days because the vaccination effectively gave you a mild dose of the flu. Turns out that’s absolute garbage.
Picture by Daniel Paquet
At The Conversation, Sydney University senior lecturer Julie Leask explains why this widespread belief is, in fact, false. And there’s a simple up-front reason for that:
It’s physically impossible for the flu vaccine to cause the flu (influenza) because the vaccines licensed for use in Australia are all inactivated. This means the viral cells in the vaccine have been killed and are not capable of causing infection.
The belief can be attributed to a variety of factors: a flu-like reaction to the virus (which isn’t actually influenza), catching an unrelated strain of flu, or not responding to the vaccine itself. But the vaccination itself can’t give you flu, so that’s not a reason to avoid a vaccination, especially if you fall into a potentially vulnerable category.
Monday’s medical myth: the flu vaccine will give you influenza [The Conversation]