Is the flu shot better than the flu mist?
No. Both versions of the flu vaccine are equally effective at protecting against the influenza virus. In past years, the injectable flu shot offered better protection than the nasal spray, but this year both are equally as effective.
However, parents should talk to their pediatrician about which flu vaccine is recommended for their child. Children need to be at least 2 years old to receive the nasal spray vaccine. The flu nasal spray is not recommended for anyone with chronic lung problems like asthma or for anyone with a compromised immune system.
Will getting the flu vaccine put my child at greater risk for contracting COVID-19?
No. The flu vaccine will not put your child at greater risk for getting COVID-19, but it also won’t prevent them from getting COVID-19.
Can my child get COVID-19 from the flu vaccine?
No. Your child will not get COVID-19 from the flu vaccine.
The flu vaccine does not contain coronavirus. It contains inactive influenza virus or proteins from an influenza virus, which means getting a flu vaccine will not cause you or your child to get the flu or test positive for COVID-19 or any coronavirus.
Can my child get the flu from the flu vaccine?
No, a flu vaccine cannot cause the flu.
Flu shots are currently made with either flu vaccine viruses that have been killed (inactivated) and are therefore not infectious, or with proteins from a flu vaccine virus. The nasal spray is made with attenuated (weakened) flu viruses, and also cannot cause the flu. These weakened viruses are cold-adapted, which means they are designed to only cause infection at the cooler temperatures found within the nose. The viruses cannot infect the lungs or other warm areas.
Reports of illness after flu vaccine are typically due to side effects from the vaccine, or from unrelated viral illnesses that also tend to circulate during the time of year that flu shots are administered. Typical side effects from the flu vaccine include soreness (if given the flu shot), congestion (if given the nasal spray), cough, fever, body aches, headache and fatigue. Serious side effects are rare and less common than the severe complications that occur from the flu itself.
I got the flu vaccine and still got the flu! Why?
Scientists make predictions about what flu strains will circulate the following year when they prepare the flu vaccine. In most years, these predictions result in a flu vaccine that provides significant protection, but there is still a chance you or your child may contract a strain that is not included in the vaccine.