Although a flu shot can cause some side effects, death from a flu shot is extremely rare. Flu shots are safe for almost everyone. Among the only people who are not recommended to receive a flu shot are those who are susceptible to an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions can occur with any type of medicine, so flu shots are no more dangerous than Advil or common aspirin.
To learn more about flu shots it is necessary to know what flu is and what the shot contains. Flu is the common name of influenza, a viral infection. Influenza causes fever, body aches, and respiratory/sinus infections. The body fights the flu virus by creating special cells called antibodies that hunt and kill the virus. Long ago, doctors found that by injected dead flu viruses, the body can be tricked into thinking it is being infected by active, live viruses. The injection is called a vaccine. The dead flu viruses cause the body to make antibodies just as the presence of a live virus would. A person is more resistant to live influenza viruses if they already have the antibodies present in their blood.
In the same manner that the dead flu viruses in the vaccine cause the body to produce antibodies, the dead flu viruses can also cause other negative symptoms. These side effects do not affect everyone and they are usually mild, lasting only 1 or 2 days. Some of the common side effects of the flu virus include:
• Soreness at the injection site
• Low fever
• Body aches
The biggest problem with flu shots are if other conditions already exist. The flu shot should not be given to children under 6 months old, those with have recently had an illness causing fever, people with Guillain-Barre syndrome, and people who have had strong reactions to the vaccine in the past.
The biggest problem with the flu vaccine is if someone is allergic. One good indicator that you may be allergic to the flu vaccine is if you are allergic to chicken eggs. Never take the flu vaccine if you cannot eat eggs.
Posted 2814 day ago