Do flu shots really work?

With flu season approaching, you may be thinking about whether or not to get your annual flu shot this year. After all, do flu shots really even help?

You may have had a flu shot in the past only to come down with the flu anyway, or you may have heard similar stories from friends or coworkers who got the flu after getting their shot. However, did you know that it can take up to two weeks for a flu shot to be effective? This means that if you catch the flu shortly before or within two weeks after getting your flu shot, you can still get the flu. It’s a good idea to get your flu shot in March-April of each year so that by peak flu season in June-July, you’ll be flu-fighting-ready!

Additionally, there are several different strains of the flu virus and these usually change year-to-year. Flu shots can protect against 3-4 strains of the virus, but not all of them. This means that you may still catch the flu despite getting your annual shot, but the symptoms will be much milder and shorter-lasting thanks to cross-protection. So it’s still a good idea to get your annual flu shot.

Another thing to note is that the side-effects of flu shots can be similar to the symptoms of flu, including muscle aches, fever, and drowsiness. However, these side-effects are much milder and shorter-lasting than the flu itself, and they aren’t contagious. So getting your annual flu shot is much better than getting the flu itself!

To book your annual flu shot now, visit HealthEngine at and book an appointment with your nearest available GP.

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