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.

3 moms found this helpful

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

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