ZocdocAnswersIf I get a flu shot could I still get the flu?

Question

If I get a flu shot could I still get the flu?

Are flu shots 100% effective? Like if I were to get a flu shot (never have) would that mean I wouldn't get the flu, no way? Could I still get the flu even with the shot?

Answer

A flu shot is a preventative measure that you can do to help prevent you from getting the flu and help prevent you from passing the flu onto other people. The flu shot is neither 100% effective, and it is only designed to help prevent the flu for one year. In other words, each fall you need to get a new flu shot. In most years the flu shot is about 50% effective at preventing the flu. In general most doctors recommend that everyone that does not have a severe allergy get the flu shot. The more people that are vaccinated the less cases of flu there are. We used to recommend that everyone over the age of 65, those that have a chronic illness like emphysema, or those that work in the health care setting and will therefore be exposed regularly. We now offer it to everyone. If you would like more information on the benefits of the flu shot, then I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. I suggest you do it soon because flu season is nearly over and you will get minimal benefit if you have the shot in the spring. If you don't end up getting it, make sure to ask your doctor for one in the fall when flu season begins.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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