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What does the flu shot do to your body?

The flu is a viral infection that you can catch by getting too close to an infected person or touching yourself after touching a surface harboring the influenza virus. The virus can get on a surface if an infected person sneezes or coughs near it such that bodily fluids land on it.

Does the flu shot work?

The flu shot certainly works and getting immunized ahead of the flu season is about the only sure way to keep the infection at bay. Many people believe that the shot can cause the flu – a misconception that has had dozens of people suffer the devastating symptoms of the infection, all in a bid to avoid the infection. The closest thing to a flu-shot-gone-wrong scenario is when someone receives the shot and still gets infected with the virus. We will explain how that happens, but first, you need to understand how the flu shot works.

The flu shot is a mixture of a killed flu virus and stabilizers and preservatives. Once infused in your body, the immune system takes note of the presence of a potentially dangerous foreign substance and produces millions of antibodies to fight it off. Since the virus is dead and in small fragments, the system is able to suppress it easily. For the next few months, the antibodies will guard your body against a similar attack, however big.

So, why do some people still develop the flu after a flu shot?

The flu can be caused by more than one strain of the influenza virus and unless you are immune to the specific virus you are exposed to, the shot won’t work. Doctors are not always perfect at predicting the prevalent virus strain in an upcoming flu season, so you can still get the infection after the shot, albeit such instances are few and far between. Contact us today to schedule a flu shot appointment with our experienced doctor in Encino.

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