Common Misconceptions about the Flu Vaccine

Worried that the flu shot might make you sick? Concerned about side effects? Read below to learn more about what is fact and what is fiction when it comes to the flu shot!


Will the flu vaccine give me the flu?

NO. The flu vaccine is inactive and is therefore not infectious, so you cannot get the flu from the vaccine.

Can I still get the flu after receiving the shot?

Getting the flu vaccine is the most effective step you can take to prevent the flu. The flu vaccine lowers your risk of getting the flu. You could still get the flu, but you are less likely to have complications or serious illness.

If you get the flu following the flu vaccine, it means you either got a strain that wasn't covered by the vaccine, you had already been infected with influenza before receiving the vaccine, or you were infected during the two-week period after vaccination when your body is still developing immune protection.

I'm worried about side effects from the vaccine. What are the possible side effects?

Side effects from the flu vaccine are generally very mild. The most common side effects are soreness at the site and/or a low grade fever. These things are good because it indicates an immune response. The fever is generally resolved within 24 hours. It takes 2 weeks for your immune response to be fully formed.

I'm too busy to receive my flu vaccine.

The average turnaround time during Campus Health & SHS's annual Flu Clinics is ~4 minutes. The clinics are located in the center of campus, Houston Hall, for easy and quick access. You can also plan ahead and schedule your immunization appointment at SHS if you miss the clinics.

I'm sick during Flu Clinics. Can I still receive my flu vaccine?

If you're experiencing flu-like symptoms and/or have a fever, it is recommended that you stay home and follow the self-care steps listed on this page. Otherwise, if you have a minor illness, you can come to the Flu Clinics for your flu vaccine.

I'm 17 years old. Can I still receive my flu vaccine at the Flu Clinics?

At the Flu Clinics, we serve all students that are eligible to be seen at Student Health , regardless of age. This means all full-time students who pay the clinical fee are able to receive the flu vaccine at the Flu Clinics.

I have an egg allergy. Can I still receive the flu shot?

    If you have a history of an egg allergy and experienced only hives after exposure to egg, you may (and should) receive the flu vaccine. Any licensed and recommended flu vaccine may be used.

      If you have had reactions to egg involving symptoms other than hives (e.g. angioedema, respiratory distress, lightheadedness, recurrent emesis) or require epinephrine or another emergency medical intervention, you may similarly receive any licensed and recommended flu vaccine. The vaccine should be administered in a medical setting and supervised by a health care provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic conditions.

      If you have previously experienced a severe allergic reaction to flu vaccine, regardless of the component suspected of being responsible for the reaction, you should not get a flu vaccine again.


          Still have questions? Call SHS at 215-746-3535 and press option 1 to speak with a nurse, visit Campus Health's About Influenza page to read more about flu, or visit our annual Flu Clinics to see for yourself!

          2017 Flu Clinics information:

          Wednesday, October 11, 11am-7:30pm

          Thursday, October 12, 11am-7:30pm

          Friday, October 13, 11am-3pm

          Bodek Lounge, Houston Hall