Can flu shots cause the flu?
The flu shot does not contain live viruses, so it cannot “give” you the flu. However, the vaccine can trigger an immune response from your body, so you may have a few mild symptoms, like achy muscles or a low fever. The nasal flu vaccine, FluMist, is made with weakened live virus. It’s recommended only for nonpregnant, healthy people between the ages of 2 and 49 because there is a lack of safety information in other groups. Because flu viruses differ from year to year, you need an annual flu shot to try to prevent the flu. The vaccines don’t guarantee that you are 100% protected. You could catch a strain that is not included in this year’s shot. Recent research also indicates that the vaccine may not be as protective for children under age 2. But flu shots are considered the best prevention available today.