No, the flu shot will not give you the flu or allow you to pass it on to someone else

The flu shot does not contain a live virus, which OhioHealth's Dr. Gastaldo said makes it impossible for you to get the flu or pass it along to someone else.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — 10TV viewer Brenda Bellis wrote in asking about the flu shot, which she plans on getting and then visiting her grandson. But she is wondering whether or not the shot will actually give her the flu.


Will the flu shot actually give me the flu that I can pass on to someone, especially an infant?"


  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Dr. Joseph Gastaldo, OhioHealth

THE ANSWER: No, the flu shot does not use a live virus, therefore, it will not give you the flu and you cannot pass it to someone else.


Dr. Joseph Gastaldo explains how the flu shot works and why people shouldn't worry about passing it to anyone else.

"The flu shot is not a live virus, scientifically and physiologically it is impossible for someone to pass it on to someone else. It is safe and it is actually recommended for pregnant women or those with weakened immune systems. You can not get flu from the flu shot or pass it to someone else," Dr. Gastaldo explains.

On the CDC's website, you can find information about a flu mist or a nasal vaccine, which is a live weakened flu vaccine but it is rarely used and there are restrictions for who can get it.

"Now the live weakened flu vaccine that's a flu mist, we don't use it that often. That type of vaccine should not be given to someone with a weakened immune system or someone that's pregnant or to someone who is around someone with a weakened immune system," Dr. Gastaldo says.

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