Q: I got my flu shot this year. Why did I still get the flu?
One reason a person may get the flu after receiving a flu shot is due to exposure to flu viruses before having the vaccine or during the 2-week period after the vaccine was given. The body needs at least 2 weeks to be able to develop immune protection against the flu. Another possibility is exposure to a flu virus that is different from the viruses the vaccine is meant to protect against. The flu vaccine for this year is designed to protect against the 3 or 4 viruses that research suggests will most likely spread during the flu season. The final reason is due to the variation in how the flu vaccine works so some people may still get sick after administration of the vaccine. The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older receive a flu shot once a year even if the viruses from the previous season have not changed. This is due to the fact that immune protection decreases over time so an annual flu shot is needed to get the best protection against the flu. This question was answered by pharmacy student Brittney Nguyen.
Disclaimer: Answers to inquiries concerning information about health conditions and/or medications are not for diagnostic or treatment purposes and can not be considered conclusive without consulting with a physician for diagnosis and treatment. Any information contained here is not a substitute for medical advice and may be outdated, invalid, or subject to debate. If you are in need or immediate medical attention, contact your physician or call 911. If you need to speak to a pharmacist, call Grand Bay Pharmacy at (251) 865-5555.