Is The Flu Shot Safe If You Are Already Sick?

Flu shot
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For those wondering if it’s safe to take the flu shot when feeling sick

It is always a good idea to get your annual flu shot. What if we are already sick and want to get the shot? There is no direct answer as it is a complicated time, many doctors will say both yes and no. It really is up to you to do your due diligence and analyze your health if it is safe to get your flu shot.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) isn’t much of a help in this situation. The following from their website is what the organization now recommends regarding receiving a flu vaccine when feeling unwell: “Talk to your doctor about your symptoms if you aren’t feeling well.” That is not of much help.

First thing is to know if you are eligible for a flu shot. The CDC recommends everyone over the age of six months should get a flu shot every year. This includes pregnant women, those suffering from certain chronic conditions, and people who are allergic to eggs. Those who should not get the flu shot are children under the age of six months, people with life-threatening allergies, and those who have had severe reactions to flu shots in the past.

So what if we are already sick? The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has general info that tells us if it is safe to receive any vaccine if we are currently sick. The ACIP states, “The safety and efficacy of vaccinating persons who have mild illnesses have been documented.” They have also added that the “vaccination should be deferred for persons with a moderate or severe acute illness.”

It can come down to a judgement call on whether or not the shot is okay for you. Depending on how you are feeling, a light cold should be a green light while having a fever should be a red light. Double check your temperature, as anything over 101 may not be a good time for you to get the shot. Once you feel better, you are in the clear to schedule your shot.


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