31 answers

Did You Get the Flu shot...and Then Get the Flu?

I laugh about this because I swear, my mom gets the flu shot and then she gets sick a month or more later. I keep telling her to not get the shot and see what happens, but she insists.

None of us get the flu shot. Hubby and I haven't had the flu in YEARS and my kids have not thrown up since they were babies. My 6th grader has only missed 2 days of school since Kindergarden, same thing for my 3rd grader. We have my step dtr every other weekend and since she has been with her mom full time since May, she has been sick more often and was rarely sick when we had her. In fact, she has chicken pox right now (showed up while at her moms) and although we were exposed, we have not gotten them. I have terrible allergies that usually turns into a sinus infection around now, and I'm just getting over it. Other than that, we get the sniffles here and there but nothing major. I'm usually shocked to see how sick some of my friends and their kids get, and how often.

We do take daily vitamins but are not super healthy eaters. I keep the heater set at 68 so we don't overheat the house which I think sometimes can make you sick. We are not crazy about hand sanitizer either. I keep a bottle of it in my mini van and we use a squirt when we leave a store but thats really it.

So I was just wondering how many people get the shot and still get sick, or get the shot and don't get sick?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Kristen, thanks for explaining. I didn't know that. I'm just happy we don't get any kind of flu. =)

Featured Answers

Throwing up is generally due to the stomach flu, not "the flu". The flu shot does not target, is not intended for, and will do nothing to prevent the stomach flu. Neither will it help prevent throwing up due to food-borne pathogens, rotavirus, gastroenteritis, or morning sickness.

The flu shot is meant to reduce the incidence of the influenza virus (not the stomach flu, see above).

I've gotten flu shots most years in the recent past. I don't think I've ever had influenza (or at least, not that I can remember). I've had the stomach flu (i.e., I've thrown up) several times in the past five years.

12 moms found this helpful

we have never gotten the flu shot, ever. We never get one either. We are hardly sick. Although I did get strep last month, but that has nothing to do with the flu. Besides that, we really aren't sick very often. We all take lots of vitamins and eat semi healthy (some days are good and some not so good, lol!)

3 moms found this helpful

People who get the flu shot and then get the flu ... the ACTUAL influenza and not an intestinal bug ... were going to get the flu anyway. The fact that they got the flu shot means that they got a milder case of the flu than they would have otherwise. If that person didn't get the flu then they would have had a worse case of the flu.

There is no correlation between "I got the shot so I got the flu/I didn't get the shot and didn't get the flu." That's flawed logic and a fallacy.

Whenever I don't get the flu shot I get the real flu that year and I'm nearly hospitalized because of it. I've had times where I SHOULD have been hospitalized. When I get the shot, I don't get the flu.

Now, if you're talking about an intestinal bug with some diarrhea or vomiting and it lasts a few days, that's NOT the flu. The flu lasts the better part of two weeks and makes you wish you were dead even though you know it'll end within two weeks. The flu kills people every year: babies, children, elderly, and young healthy people. It hospitalizes many more due to dehydration. You should look up the symptoms. It's nothing to trivialize.

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More Answers

Throwing up is generally due to the stomach flu, not "the flu". The flu shot does not target, is not intended for, and will do nothing to prevent the stomach flu. Neither will it help prevent throwing up due to food-borne pathogens, rotavirus, gastroenteritis, or morning sickness.

The flu shot is meant to reduce the incidence of the influenza virus (not the stomach flu, see above).

I've gotten flu shots most years in the recent past. I don't think I've ever had influenza (or at least, not that I can remember). I've had the stomach flu (i.e., I've thrown up) several times in the past five years.

12 moms found this helpful

Ive never gotten the flu after getting a flu shot.

6 moms found this helpful

I almost always get the flu shot, and have never had the flu.

6 moms found this helpful

As Kristen mentioned, the flu shot only protects against 3 strains of the influenza virus. That's it. If offers no protection against anything else, just the three strains of flu thought to be most prevalent.

I think people think that if they get a flu shot they are guaranteed not to get any sort of sickness for the season, and that is simply not the case. You can still get any number of viral or bacterial infections. I think people who say, "I get the flu shot and then I get the flu" often are confusing influenza and the stomach flu, or are just confused about what the flu shot protects against. YOU CANNOT GET THE FLU FROM A FLU SHOT.

I get a flu shot every year, so do my kids, and my husband and we have never had influenza. I do have two sick kids home with me now, they both
have some sort of respiratory infection (RSV?) and I think I'm getting it now too.

You mention that your mom gets "sick" a month or so after she gets the flu shot. Why do you think it is related? Is she getting influenza (confirmed by her doctor), or something else? I always think it is interesting when people blame the shot for anything unpleasant that happens afterward.

5 moms found this helpful

There's been a great deal of research lately on the efficacy of flu shots, and also why some people seem so resistant to getting sick without protection. As it turns out, older people don't get as large a boost from the vaccine, but they usually do get some – IF they contract one of the three viruses included in that year's shot, they will generally have a milder/shorter course of illness.

This has been my experience – the years I've gotten the shot, I either have not gotten the flu at all, or have had one or two relatively mild illnesses that were more than likely the common cold.

It's also been learned just recently that a significant number of people have a natural, secondary means of fighting infection built into their immune systems – those blessed with this hereditary factor are the people (who perhaps include your family) who seem to never get the flu or colds.

Stomach "bugs" are not the flu, even though they are often called that.

However, real influenza is a potentially serious, and often deeply miserable illness that attacks the respiratory system, and the producers of the vaccines do their best to guess which of the many strains of virus are most likely to cause the biggest outbreaks in any coming year, so people will get the most protection possible. That does NOT include all of the potential viruses that can cause an outbreak, so it is still possible to catch one of the "off brands" in any given year. And occasionally a non-included virus turns out to be a bigger problem than anticipated. Even the most educated guesses sometimes go wrong.

If illness occurs shortly after receiving a shot, it's common to blame the shot. But those are not caused by the dead viruses included in the vaccine, UNLESS the person was exposed to that particular live virus just before or shortly after receiving the shot, before it has a chance to trigger the immune response. It generally takes about two weeks for full protection to build. The dead virus in the vaccine can NOT cause the illness.

Flu can be deadly for seniors and very young children, and for those with lung problems, diabetes, or compromised immune systems, and there are always some people who cannot be given vaccines at all. So improving "herd" immunity helps reduce their risk, even if the shots don't do a perfect job of protecting every recipient. The shots do help significantly reduce the impact of an outbreak.

Just for a little perspective, during the great flu outbreak of 1918, when my grandmother was a child, there were no vaccines available. My grandmother lived in Chicago, where thousands of people in surrounding neighborhoods died over just a few weeks, including her own parents and baby sister. That was a hard, sad thing for her to live with – I think she grieved about it for the rest of her life. She remembered her helplessness when her baby sister was dying, and the terrible fear of not knowing who would be struck next. She and her two surviving sisters were left to raise each other to adulthood, because too many members of the extended family had died to take them in.

4 moms found this helpful

My daughter is immune compromised, so we all get the flu shot. It is possible to get the shot and then come down with the flu, although not FROM the shot, since that is a killed virus. They make an educated guess as to which strain will be coming around and they give you the shot for that strain. If a different strain shows up, then you could get it. If your mom gets sick a month after the shot, it has NOTHING at all to do with the shot, since most illnesses have a 3 to 14 day incubation period.

and I should add that the years that I've gotten the shot, I haven't gotten the flu. My son got the flu 2 years in a row when I never got around to getting him the shot.

4 moms found this helpful

I got as far as Bridgette's post, and she is exactly right. I will tell you that I have gotten the flu (the real flu, which has nothing to do with one's stomach) after having the flu shots. This has happened twice in my life. We're talking within the season, like months later. That is why I always get my shot near the end of October in hopes that it lasts me a while.

Some years the flu viruses mutate enough that 20 - 25% of people who have been vaccinated get sick anyway. I will still get the vaccine because I'm not NEARLY as sick with the flu if I have had the flu shot, because it's a weaker strain by then.

I will also tell you that I always get the test to see if my virus is actually the flu. Especially for my kids. They stick a little swab up your nose for that. This way I can tell the school so they know flu is going around. Schools in our area closed for 2 days in front of a weekend to try to stop the spread a few years ago.

Hope you miss whatever virus is floating around out there!

D.

3 moms found this helpful

No flu shots here...and we've never had the flu.

3 moms found this helpful

People who get the flu shot and then get the flu ... the ACTUAL influenza and not an intestinal bug ... were going to get the flu anyway. The fact that they got the flu shot means that they got a milder case of the flu than they would have otherwise. If that person didn't get the flu then they would have had a worse case of the flu.

There is no correlation between "I got the shot so I got the flu/I didn't get the shot and didn't get the flu." That's flawed logic and a fallacy.

Whenever I don't get the flu shot I get the real flu that year and I'm nearly hospitalized because of it. I've had times where I SHOULD have been hospitalized. When I get the shot, I don't get the flu.

Now, if you're talking about an intestinal bug with some diarrhea or vomiting and it lasts a few days, that's NOT the flu. The flu lasts the better part of two weeks and makes you wish you were dead even though you know it'll end within two weeks. The flu kills people every year: babies, children, elderly, and young healthy people. It hospitalizes many more due to dehydration. You should look up the symptoms. It's nothing to trivialize.

3 moms found this helpful

we have never gotten the flu shot, ever. We never get one either. We are hardly sick. Although I did get strep last month, but that has nothing to do with the flu. Besides that, we really aren't sick very often. We all take lots of vitamins and eat semi healthy (some days are good and some not so good, lol!)

3 moms found this helpful

I started getting flu shots when I had kids. I have never gotten the flu since. They say that if you get sick after the shot, you either already had it in your system or it is a different strain. Flu shots are developed to target the strains they anticipate will be common that year (see Riley J's comment) but if a different strains develops, the flu shot may not be able to fight that one.

3 moms found this helpful

We get our flu shots every year.
And we haven't had any trouble with the flu.
What people call stomach flu is isn't influenza at all but it's easier to remember than gastroenteritis (which is usually caused by a virus).
That doesn't mean you can't catch a cold and have a runny nose and/or cough for awhile.
If you don't have the muscle aches, fever/chills, and total loss of energy, it's not the flu.
The flu really wipes you out - I had it once about 25 years ago - hope I never get it that bad again and I totally understand how that could land you in the hospital.

3 moms found this helpful

None of us ever get the flu shot and we rarely get sick. My brother got juvenile diabetes and they told my mom that she and my brother should start getting the flu shot from now on. They got it once right after he was diagnosed and that was the only time they ever got the flu. She doesn't bother anymore and they haven't got the flu since that shot...LOL

3 moms found this helpful

Always get the shot. Never get the flu. It's NOTpossible. In theory you can get a strain that you haven't been vaccinated for... But I have never gotten the sick after getting the shot for over 15 years including during pregnancy. Neither have my kids in the last 7 and 4 years

3 moms found this helpful

We never get the flu shot. When we have gotten them in the past my son always get a fever from it, and since he has a form of JRA that causes damage to his joints every time he gets a fever, it is not worth it at all for us. We do seem to get strep about once a year, other than that we are rarely sick with any kind of illness. I do not use hand sanitizer or gels at all, that stuff is so bad, in fact they think the increase in child allergies is linked to anti bacterial soaps and gels, because you need to be exposed to things to built up a proper immune system.

3 moms found this helpful

Every year I get the flu shot, I either get mild sick right away or get the pukes real bad a few months later. I did not get it last year or this year and so far so good. I know they say you cant get sick from it, but I kind of feel the same way. Every year I have gotten it, I have been sick. One time was so bad I was hospitalized. Maybe just a weird coincidence though.

3 moms found this helpful

Yep....two different flu shots.....and didn't feel sick afterwards and didn't get the flu.

2 moms found this helpful

Last summer was the first time we haven't gotten the flu in YEARS.

For nearly a decade we get the flu in the summer... because we have friends in the mideast and balkans who visit over the summer. Yay. 10 days of quarantine, here we come!!! ((The flu starts out in asia, usually, and travels west. Takes about a year. Vaccines are made as fast as possible and distributed just in advance of the oncoming wave)) So there's no point in us getting the shot, because we've already had the flu a few months before the vaccines are available in this country.

Because of my son being medically fragile, we got some special flu shots flown in.

Wow.

FINALLY! A year without the flu!!!

This last spring my son was hospitalized, and we not only got the flushot for the flu going around (which we'd already had last summer)

2 moms found this helpful

I haven't gotten sick from the flu shot, but I have gotten the flu months later. The purpose of the shot is to make the duration and symptoms less and more bearable, not to totally ward of the flu. We get them because during the H1N1 epidemic we didn't get them and my daughter got sick along with 80% of her school. She is needle phobic and this year got the flu mist. Flu Mist you can catch the flu from because it was a live virus. And just our luck, she caught it and was sick 3 days later.

2 moms found this helpful

We all get the flu shot every year, and none of us have gotten sick with the flu. But as others have mentioned, there are several strains of flu virus and with the vaccine, you are only protected against those strains you get vaccinated against. Not every cough/cold/respiratory illness is the flu either. And "stomach flu" is either a totally different virus altogether (or other pathogen) or food poisoning. And finally, sometimes how well protected you are after getting the vaccine will depend on your own immune system, and how well it mounts a response and is able to protect you from the real thing.

2 moms found this helpful

Yes, we all get the flu shot every year and have not gotten the flu, influenza. The stomach flu is not related which usually causes you to throw up. One of the best ways to prevent getting the stomach flu is washing your hands and keeping your hands off of your face after touching things which may have the germs on them. Our family rarely gets sick, even the cold. We do use antibacterial hand sanitizer after leaving any store and the kids always wash their hands after coming home from school. Just use good common sense.

2 moms found this helpful

Last year I did not get teh flu shot but I did get the norovirus or stomach flu which would not have been covered by it. My husband gets sick every time, but more of a slight case rather than the full blown. This year I got the shot because I have a newborn, and I got pneumonia. Not fun. I think I would have preferred the flu.

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Okay first of all the flu has nothing to do with throwing up...the "stomach flu" is not the real flu that you are getting a flu shot to prevent.

The real flu knocks you on your butt for about ten days and about seven of those days you want to die from the body aches, fever, and overall sickness. You crawl to the bathroom because you are too weak to stand up. There is not really any throwing up involved unless you try and eat anything...but you are too sick to even care about eating.

Only year I got the real flu...Type A...diagnosed by my doctor...was the one year I missed my flu shot. My husband and I both got it...neither kid got it because the had had their shots.

2 moms found this helpful

Our whole family gets the flu shot every year and we never get the flu. We are pretty darn healthy most of the time, knock on wood! We do not take vitamins bc we believe you pee most of it out, but we do eat very healthy. We do not use hand sanitizer either, although sometimes when I'm at the doctor's office for a kid check up and I see the bottle I will use it. Maybe some people have a weakened immune system or are just unlucky and that is why they get sick more often.

2 moms found this helpful

I've never gotten the shot and have never had the flu. I'm a strep throat getter myself.

I've always gotten the shots for my girls because I can't trust them to wash their hands properly. They've never gotten the flu. However, we didn't get to the drs when I normally do so I skipped it for them this year. So our story has not ended....we'll see how the winter turns out!

1 mom found this helpful

I only got the flu shot while working in childcare as it was part of the rules for the job. Everytime I got I was sick for 3 or more days a week or two after the shot.
My kids I always got them the flu shot just because they are around the other kids. My daughter never is affected by it and is never sick. If she does get sick usually a small stomach bug.
My son was always the same way until they mixed the common flu together with the H1N1 vaccine. One the H1N1 came out I refused to have my kids vaccinated against it as it was new. Last year they combined the two and i wasnt told until they brought the syringes in that it was a mixture. That year within week my son was sick and ended up with pneumonia.

1 mom found this helpful

Everyone in our family gets the flu shot every year and none of us have ever had the stomach flu. My 2 and 3 year old have only had minor colds and have never thrown up, knock on wood. And we're out in public all the time.

1 mom found this helpful

My husband had it twice and both times got super sick. I've never had one, nor have my kids. My grandma got the new one with h1n1 and passed away after getting deathly ill with pneumonia instantly after getting it, sucker than she had ever been.

1 mom found this helpful

I got the flu every year that I got a flu shot. When I stopped taking the shot, I stopped getting sick.

1 mom found this helpful

i think the flu shot is nuts. i'm not totally anti-vac, but really? the vaccination risks for a shot that will *maybe* protect against 3 of the hundreds of strains out there?
no thanks.
i get the flu occasionally (not so far this year.) my husband got the shot this year and yes, promptly got the flu.
i'll stick to good food, good exercise and sensible supplements.
khairete
S.

1 mom found this helpful

The flu vaccine has minimal if any effectiveness. As others have noted, it's only against three strains of flu, and is based on educated guesses as to which strains will be most prevalent.

You may have read some reports that the flu vaccine is "68% effective", but here's the breakdown of how they reach the figure: in a large study (over 100,000 people, I think), they divided them into two groups of people who either received or did not receive the flu vaccine, and looked to see how many people in both groups ended up with the flu. In the unvaccinated group, fewer than 3 people per 100 got flu; in the vaccinated group, fewer than 2 people per 100 got flu. I forget the exact numbers, but the reduction (from 2.6 to 1.8 or whatever it was) was 68%, because you divide the lower number by the upper number, and the difference is .68 or 68%. But it still doesn't change the fact that over 97% of the population didn't get the flu no matter what; so you have to balance the risk of the flu shot (most versions contain mercury, and some people will be allergic to some ingredients in all versions, even if reactions are rare) with the risk of getting the flu itself.

But taking vitamin D is one way of improving and strengthening your immune system w/o shots.

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