Everything You Need to Know About Flu Vaccines

Flu vaccines—we need them more than ever today. You probably have yours once a year. But have you ever thought about how it works in the body? You might be surprised. 

How the Vaccine Keeps You From Getting Sick

A flu vaccine mimics the immune system via intramuscular application or via nasal spray form. The flu vaccine has the germs of the illness that it protects you against. When the vaccine enters the system, the body will then begin to produce unique proteins that will tell the immune system to attack the virus. These antibodies are what the vaccine will make when your body becomes exposed to the illness naturally. 

The body takes about two weeks for the body to produce the antibodies following the vaccination. 

Remember, every flu season the virus changes a little; therefore, the updated flu shots every year. They have new formulas that help fight off the new strains of the virus. 

What’s In a Flu Vaccine

Aside from the same germs that cause the illness, there are other ingredients in a flu vaccine, such as aluminum salts, that help develop a stronger immune system in response to the viruses in the shot. It also contains antibiotics that keep the bacteria from growing in the vaccine while in production or storage. 

A flu vaccine also contains chicken egg proteins because viruses usually grow in fertilized chicken eggs. It also contains formaldehyde that can kill off any other harmful germs and toxins in the formula. 

The gelatin keeps the vaccine formula from weakening or getting damaged due to extreme weather temperatures. And finally, the thimerosal in it is a preservative that keeps it uncontaminated from bacteria and fungi. 

How Safe if the Flu Vaccine

Many misconceptions surround the safety of a flu vaccine. The truth is, it’s very safe. 

One thing to remember is that although it contains the same germs that cause the flu, it’s already weakened or dead. Hence, you won’t get the flu when you get the shot, although minor side effects may be experienced for a day or two. Arm soreness is also normal following the vaccine. 

Next, no scientific evidence suggests the ingredients in a flu vaccine cause autism. Researchers and scientists have not found a link between the two. 

COVID-19 Vaccine and a Flu Shot

You can get a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu shot. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), you can get both vaccines simultaneously. They help protect you and your loved ones from serious illnesses. 

It’s best to talk to your physician should you have any other questions about flu vaccines. If you have existing medical conditions, you should consult with your doctor first.

The Bottomline

These answers about a flu vaccine should help you make better decisions about the vaccination. There are many myths about it; however, if you talk to your physician about it, you’ll learn why it’s important to get one.

If you want a flu vaccine, schedule an appointment with your physician. It’s important to get vaccinated as early as possible.

Get your flu shots in Sante Fe, NM here at Aspen Medical Center. We are a locally-owned outpatient medical facility offering state-of-the-art primary and urgent care services. Call us today.