Can the flu shot really protect me against the flu?

Yes, here’s how.

Protect me against the Flu

The CDC says it takes about two weeks for the shot to help protect you against viruses that were included in the vaccine.¹ The best time to get a flu shot is in the fall, since the flu season can start as early as October.¹ So, band together. Get your flu shot. It’s a great way to give yourself, family, co-workers, and friends the gift of a flu-free holiday season! Plus, finding an in-network doctor is easy!

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What are the types of vaccines?

There are many options when it comes to the flu shot:

  • One shot offers protection against three flu viruses
  • Another shot protects against four flu viruses
  • There is also an egg-free vaccine, which is available for people 18 and over
  • There is also a high-dose variation for people who are most likely to get the flu

Ask your doctor which flu vaccine is right for you, especially if you have allergies, are more likely to get the flu, or are pregnant. You can find an in-network physician fast.

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What if I got the flu shot last year?

Each year, the flu shot is different and helps protect us from several different viruses that are expected to be most common that season. The viruses this year may be different from the previous year. That’s why it’s important to get a new flu shot every year.

What if the flu shot doesn’t work?

Sometimes, different types of a flu virus start spreading and you may get a different version of the flu that wasn’t contained in your flu shot. Your previous year’s flu shot still may help, though.

Are there side effects to the flu shot?

After the flu shot, you may or may not experience the following mild symptoms:²

  • Soreness, redness or swelling where the shot was given
  • Low-grade fever³
  • Aches

Can the flu shot give me the flu?

No, the flu shot does not cause the flu, but sometimes people may have already been exposed to it before they got the shot. Or they may become infected before the shot is fully effective. That’s why it’s so important to get the shot early.

What if I think I already have the flu?

Visit your doctor or an urgent care clinic right away. Your healthcare provider may be able to provide an antiviral drug to help make your symptoms not as bad or last as long.3

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