Yes, the flu vaccine is generally very safe. There are so many flu vaccines given every year, yet very few significant side effects. Generally, the health risks from getting the flu are much greater than the health risks from the flu vaccine.
The flu viruses that spread around the world are different every year. Therefore the flu vaccine contains protection against a new set of viruses every year. Plus the immunity you get from a flu vaccine decreases over time.
I’ve never had the flu. Why should I get the flu vaccine?
Even if you’ve never been in a serious vehicle collision in the past, do you still put on your seat belt? Most people do since it greatly reduces their risk of injury and death in the unlikely event of a vehicle collision. The fact that you have not been infected with the flu in the past does not mean you won’t be infected in the future. Getting the flu vaccine greatly reduces your risk of the flu.
Getting the flu vaccine also helps protect others who may not be able to fight off the infection as well as you. The more people who get vaccinated in a community, the less chance the infection spreads around.
What is the difference between a cold and the flu?
The common cold is a name given to minor infections in the nose and throat. The flu is a more serious disease caused by viruses that are different from cold viruses. Flu and cold infections are both very contagious.
With the flu, it is common to have a fever, headache, body aches, and weakness. With a cold, these symptoms are much less common.
If you are not sure if you have a cold or the flu, refer to the Public Health Agency of Canada chart, IS IT A COLD OR THE FLU?.
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