A flu shot cannot give you the flu because the viruses in the vaccine have been inactivated and are therefore not infectious. However, even if you do get a flu shot, you could still get the flu. There are many more flu viruses than the three or four viruses covered by the flu shot, and you could be exposed to a flu virus that’s not covered if one is going around. Other ways you could get the flu are by being exposed to a flu virus before getting the flu shot or less than two weeks after getting the flu shot, before your body gains protection.
Flu vaccines are approved for anyone at least 6 months of age, and are recommended for everyone who is at least 6 months of age. Be aware that some of the vaccines are manufactured using virus grown in eggs, so if you are allergic to eggs, be sure to let the administrator of the vaccine know so that you don’t get injected with one grown in eggs. As an alternative, you can request one grown in cell culture if you’re 18 or older. For more information, go to the CDC website (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/flushot.htm) or ask your doctor.
Last year I did not get a flu shot, and it was the first time I ever made it through an entire flu season without getting sick at all. In fact, I haven’t been sick in about a year and a half, which is extremely unusual for me given that I typically get sick 2-3 times every year. I attribute that to my whole food plant-based lifestyle, which I’ve been practicing for almost two years. Yet another great reason to eat lots and lots of whole, plant-based foods!