ZocdocAnswersDoes the flu shot cause Alzheimer's disease?

Question

Does the flu shot cause Alzheimer's disease?

I heard in a forum online that if you get the flu shot several years in a row, it begins to put you iat a higher risk of develping Alzheimer's disease. Is that true? If so, how is that happening, and why do we still do it with that risk?

Answer

I am really glad you asked this question. The medical field for years now has battled with myths, false information, and lone doctors and scientists making false claims about vaccines. This is an example of one. There is no evidence currently that the flu shot is in any way associated with Alzheimer's disease. If there was solid evidence of this, of course we would not recommend that people get it. The truth is that the flu shot is about as safe as any other routine vaccine given today. There are real risks to getting the flu vaccine that you should be aware of. Some people develop fever and chills in the first 24 hours after getting the shot. In rare cases, people can develop a neurologic conditions called Guillain Barre Syndrome. We believe the risk of this is lower than the benefits of the protection the vaccine gives. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. If you fit into a higher risk category, then your doctor may strongly recommend you get the flu shot. If you do not fit into any of these categories, then you doctor may or may not recommend that you get it. It just depends on your doctor's style and factors that may be specific to where you live. Be very careful reading those forums on line. Very few reputable physicians would ever post on one of those sites and thus, you are unlikely to get any good information. Good luck.

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

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