The 2020-2021 flu season is approaching, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recently released their recommendations for the formulations of the annual flu shot heading into next year. Here, vaccine injury lawyer Leah V. Durant answers some frequently-asked questions about flu season, the annual flu shot and the potential risks associated with influenza immunization.
Answers to Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Annual Flu Shot
Q: When Does Flu Season Begin?
The CDC defines “flu season” as the period during which influenza infection rates are the highest. While many people do not realize it, you can actually catch the flu any time of the year. According to the CDC, “In the United States, flu season occurs in the fall and winter. . . . most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February, but activity can last as late as May.”
Q: Does the Flu Shot Work?
Yes, the flu shot does work to prevent influenza infections. However, it does not work for everyone. Each year, the flu shot’s vaccine effectiveness (VE) rating varies, and over the past decade it has ranged from 19 to 60 percent. Still, the CDC recommends annual vaccination against the flu, as flu infections can lead to serious, and potentially-fatal, complications for some people.
Q: Can the Flu Shot Cause an Influenza Infection?
No. This is a common misconception. While certain formulations of the flu vaccine contain a “live” virus, this virus is attenuated, which means that it is not capable of causing an infection.
Q: Which Flu Shot Should You Get?
Each year, the CDC recommends various formulations of the flu shot, and it makes specific recommendations for individuals in specific populations. Parents and other adults can consult with their doctors to determine which formulation of the flu vaccine is appropriate for them and their children.
Q: How Much Does the Flu Shot Cost?
The cost of the annual flu shot varies, but it is generally in the range of $20 to $50 dollars (although you may have to pay an additional office visit fee if you get vaccinated by your doctor). Several clinics and local organizations offer free flu shots to individuals who qualify, and you can search locally to find out where free flu shots are being offered in your area.
Q: Should Anyone Not Get the Flu Shot?
Yes. The CDC advises that certain people should not get the annual flu shot due to the risks involved. More information is available here: Who Should and Who Should NOT get a Flu Vaccine.
Q: Are There Risks Associated with the Annual Flu Shot?
Yes, like all vaccines, the annual flu shot carries certain risks. These include (but are not limited to) the risk of an allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA), and Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). You can learn more about flu shot injury risks here: Key Facts about the Flu Shot.
Request a Free Consultation with Vaccine Injury Lawyer Leah V. Durant
If you or your child is diagnosed with a flu shot injury, you may be eligible to recover financial compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). Our firm provides no-cost legal representation for VICP claims nationwide. To learn more in a free and confidential consultation with vaccine injury lawyer Leah V. Durant, call us at 202-800-1711 or request an appointment online today.
Leah Durant Bio
Experienced litigation attorney Leah Durant focuses on representing clients in complex vaccine litigation matters. Leah Durant is the owner and principal attorney of the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, a litigation firm based in Washington, DC. Leah Durant and her staff represent clients and their families who suffer from vaccine-related injuries, adverse vaccine reactions and vaccine-related deaths. The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC is dedicated to assisting individuals in recovering the highest level of compensation as quickly and efficiently as possible. To learn more, contact vaccine attorney Leah Durant today.