The injectable influenza virus vaccine (flu shot) is a "killed virus” vaccine. Influenza virus vaccine is also available in a nasal spray form, which is a "live virus” vaccine. This medication guide addresses only the injectable form of this vaccine.
You can still receive a vaccine if you have a cold or fever. In the case of a more severe illness with a fever or any type of infection, wait until you get better before receiving this vaccine.
Keep track of any and all side effects you have after receiving this vaccine. If you ever have to receive another influenza virus vaccine in the future, you will need to tell the doctor if the first shot caused any side effects.
Like any vaccine, influenza virus vaccine may not provide protection from disease in every person. This vaccine will not prevent illness caused by avian flu ("bird flu").
Becoming infected with influenza (commonly known as "the flu”) is much more dangerous to your health than receiving the vaccine to protect against it. Influenza causes thousands of deaths each year, and hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations. Like any medicine, this vaccine can cause side effects, but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.