Many people think a flu shot can make you a little sick. But is that true?

For answers, 11Alive sister-station WFAA in Dallas reviewed government reports, academic research and talked to Dr. Trish Perl, the Chief of Infectious Diseases at the University of Texas Southwestern.

“It's very, very rare,” she said.

So how many people actually get sick?

“One, two percent. A small percent,” Perl answered. “It's rare. It's not never.”

A study from the Journal of American Medicine found the only reported difference between people who got a flu shot and people who got a placebo was "arm soreness" and "redness at the injection site".

The Centers for Disease Control concluded there are "no differences in terms of body aches, fever, cough, runny nose or sore throat."

On top of that, Dr. Perl said the idea of the flu shot is about more than just your health.

“If we vaccinate a large number of the population that vaccinating that large number actually protects the entire population. It's what we call a herd effect,” Perl said.

A study on the herd effect in the Journal of American Medicine found: "Immunizing children and adolescents … significantly protected unimmunized residents".

Perl said herd immunity can save the lives of the sick and elderly who are among the tens of thousands of Americans who die each year from the flu.

The bottom line is that there is little chance that you will get the flu from a shot. However, as Perl said, it's rare - not impossible.

So stop being a baby, join the herd and get a flu shot.


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