Flu vaccine information

Who should get a flu shot?

The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older by the end of October, if possible. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses and prevent flu-related hospitalizations.

How long does the process take? Does it hurt?

Only a few minutes. Try to wear clothing that makes it easy to access your upper arm. The vaccine is administered into the muscle and discomfort is minimal.

Can I get the flu by being vaccinated?

The flu shot is made from an inactivated virus; there is no live virus that can transmit infection.  People can sometimes feel sick after getting the vaccine which is due to being infected with flu or another cold virus prior to receiving the vaccine. 

What level of protection does a flu shot provide?

The flu shot provides protection against the four most common types of flu strains. If you are exposed to a different strain, getting vaccinated still lessens your chance of getting sick, and can reduce the severity of your symptoms if you do get sick. It takes one to two weeks from your date of vaccination to build up immunity.

What are the risks of getting vaccinated against the flu?

As with any medicine, vaccines can have side effects or more serious reactions. Most people who get a flu shot do not have any problems with it. 

Minor problems following a flu shot include:

  • soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
  • hoarseness
  • sore, red or itchy eyes
  • cough
  • fever
  • aches
  • headache
  • itching
  • fatigue

If these problems occur, they usually begin soon after the shot and last 1 or 2 days.

More serious problems following a flu shot can include the following:

  • There may be a small increased risk of Guillain-BarrĂ© Syndrome (GBS) after inactivated flu vaccine. This risk has been estimated at 1 or 2 additional cases per million people vaccinated. This is much lower than the risk of severe complications from flu, which can be prevented by flu vaccine.
  • Young children who get the flu shot along with pneumococcal vaccine (PCV13), and/or DTaP vaccine at the same time might be slightly more likely to have a seizure caused by fever. Ask your doctor for more information. Tell your doctor if a child who is getting flu vaccine has ever had a seizure.

Problems that could happen after any injected vaccine:

  • People sometimes faint after a medical procedure, including vaccination. Sitting or lying down for about 15 minutes can help prevent fainting, and injuries caused by a fall. Tell your doctor if you feel dizzy, or have vision changes or ringing in the ears.
  • Some people get severe pain in the shoulder and have difficulty moving the arm where a shot was given. This happens very rarely.
  • Any medication can cause a severe allergic reaction. Such reactions from a vaccine are very rare, estimated at about 1 in a million doses, and would happen within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination.

As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a serious injury or death.

The safety of vaccines is always being monitored. For more information, visit the  vaccine safety web site.

This information is based on the  Inactivated Influenza VIS.

What version of the flu vaccine does Circle Medical use?

This year we are using Sanofi Fluzone quadrivalent vaccine, which protects against the four most prevalent strains of the flu identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The vaccine is preservative and thimerosal free.

Why do I need to install the Circle Medical app to get a flu shot?

As a paperless medical practice, using our app is how we create your medical record, obtain your consent to be vaccinated, and obtain and validate your insurance information.