Is the Flu Shot a Live Virus? The Physicians at UHealth Jackson Urgent Care – Cutler Bay Explain 

Perhaps you’ve put off getting a flu shot because you’re worried that it could make you sick. Is the flu shot a live virus? You can rest assured that it is not. According to the board-certified, UHealth – the University of Miami Health System physicians at UHealth Jackson Urgent Care – Cutler Bay, a flu shot cannot cause flu illness. 

Specifically, flu vaccines that are administered with a needle can be made in either of two ways. The shots may contain: 

  • Flu viruses that have been “inactivated” and thus are noninfectious
  • No flu viruses at all (e.g., the recombinant influenza vaccine) 

Even though an influenza vaccine cannot make you ill with the flu, it can potentially cause side effects. However, when side effects occur, they are usually mild and short-lived, especially in comparison to the symptoms that can result from a full-blown influenza inflection. The most common side effects of a flu shot are: 

  • Pain, swelling, and redness at the injection site (usually the upper arm)
  • Headache
  • Low-grade fever
  • Dizziness 

In sum, the flu shot is not a live virus. The health care professionals at UHealth Jackson Urgent Care – Cutler Bay recommend that most people protect themselves from contracting the influenza virus with a yearly flu shot – a simple, safe, and effective option for good health. Why not do so today? 

At UHealth Jackson Urgent Care – Cutler Bay, you can walk in and receive a flu shot at your convenience – no appointment is necessary. Keep in mind that it will take about two weeks for the protective antibodies to build up in your body in response to the vaccine, so it's important to receive a flu shot as early in the season as possible. And, if you do contract the flu, we can provide the urgent care services you need to help you recover quickly and safely.