What's in a Flu Shot?

August 31, 2022

It seems like every other day, there's a new headline about the flu pandemic. This year's vaccine is said to be only 10% effective against the dominant strain. But even if it's not 100% effective, that doesn't mean you shouldn't get the flu shot.

AFC Urgent Care Boulder provides flu shots for all of our patients. Flu shots are the simplest way to prevent serious viruses from hurting those in our community. Learn more about flu shots and receive yours today at AFC Urgent Care Boulder.

What are the different Flu Vaccines?

There are four different types of flu vaccine, each created differently:

1. Egg-based influenza vaccines are the most common type of flu vaccine. The viruses used to make these vaccines are grown in chicken eggs and then purified. People who have an egg allergy can often still receive this type of vaccine but under the recommendation of a medical provider.


2. Cell-based influenza vaccines are made using viruses grown in mammalian cell cultures. These vaccines are recommended for people with egg allergies.


3. Recombinant influenza vaccines are made using genes from the flu virus that are inserted into yeast cells, which then produce proteins that create immunity against the virus. This vaccine is recommended for people with egg allergies.


4. Quadrivalent influenza vaccines offer protection against four different strains of the flu virus. This type of vaccine is available in both egg-based and cell-based formulations.

What's in a Flu Shot?

The flu shot contains either inactivated (killed) flu viruses or weakened live flu viruses. These viruses are used to help the body develop immunity to the flu.

The inactivated flu vaccine is made with viruses that have been killed and thus can’t infect you. The killed viruses are then purified before being injected into the muscle, where they stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies. Antibodies are used to fight against the flu. Inactivated flu vaccines are available in both shot and nasal spray forms.

The live, weakened flu vaccine is made with viruses that have been weakened so that they can’t cause serious illness. The weakened viruses are then injected into the muscle, where they stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies. Live, weakened flu vaccines are only available in shot form.


What are the benefits of getting a shot?

The flu vaccine is the best way to protect against the flu and its complications. The vaccine can reduce the risk of hospitalization and death, especially among people 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and young children.

The flu vaccine can also help protect people who are at high risk for serious complications. This can include people with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and asthma.

Flu shots are an important way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu. By receiving a flu shot annually, you’re not just helping yourself stay healthy during the winter months, you’re also helping to prevent others from becoming ill. AFC Boulder can help make it easy for you to get your flu shot this year. With locations all across the country, finding a place to get vaccinated is simple. Plus, our walk-in clinics make it easy for you to fit a vaccination into your busy schedule.

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