Seasonal Flu Vaccine | Test Your Intolerance

Flu, otherwise known as influenza, is a nose, lung, and throat infection, all of which are part of the respiratory system. Even though influenza is known as “flu,” it’s not similar to the stomach “flu” which often causes diarrhoea and vomiting. Most people suffering from the flu get better on their own. However, complications from influenza can be deadly. There are people who are at a higher risk of developing flu complications. They include:

  • Children below two years
  • Adults over 65 years
  • Those with weak immune systems
  • Alaska natives and American Indians
  • Residents from nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • People with chronic illnesses like heart disease, asthma, kidney disease, diabetes, and lung disease
  • Those with a BMI of 40 and above
  • People who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant during flu season

What is the seasonal flu vaccine?

Since complications from the flu can be deadly, it is necessary to get vaccinated. Each flu season is different from the last. But every year during flu season, millions of people get infected, hundreds of thousands get hospitalised due to infections, and thousands to tens of thousands, unfortunately, die from flu-related causes. Getting the flu could mean a few days off work or school, recovery, or more serious complications. The flu vaccine, also known as “flu shots,” protects you from the influenza viruses that are predicted to take rounds during flu season. Most flu vaccines are administered in the arm using a needle. Additionally, you can also find a nasal spray flu vaccine.

Are there two types of flu vaccines this year?

Usually, there is always more than one flu vaccine offered depending on the predicted viruses in the upcoming 2022-2023 flu season. For anyone under the age of 65, there are different flu vaccines recommended by the CDC. These include:

  • Inactivated influenza vaccine [IIV]
  • Recombinant influenza vaccine [RIV]
  • Live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV)

All these flu vaccines work the same, and whichever you take will protect you. For those above the age of 65, there are flu vaccines recommended which include:

  • Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent vaccine
  • Flublok Quadrivalent recombinant flu vaccine
  • Fluad Quadrivalent adjuvanted flu vaccine

All the flu vaccines for the seasonal flu of 2022-2023 are meant to protect against four flu viruses, including two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses. Even though there are various flu vaccines you can choose from, the only important note to keep in mind is that everyone over six months should get a flu shot each year. The vaccination helps prevent the flu and its potential complications.

What are the side effects of the flu vaccine?

Millions of people have taken flu vaccines each year for the past fifty years, and they are proven safe. However, like any other medication, flu vaccines can cause complications that often go away within a few days without interrupting your life much. Common side effects following a flu shot include:

  • Soreness, redness, and swelling in the area the shot administered
  • Mild headache
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Muscle ache
  • Fatigue

In rare cases, the flu shot causes fainting like any other shot. However, if you’re allergic to the vaccine, you may have symptoms like:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hoarseness or wheezing
  • Swelling around the eyes or lips
  • Hives
  • Paleness
  • Weakness
  • A fast heartbeat or dizziness

Even though these extreme reactions to flu vaccines are rare, if you experience this, it’s likely to happen within minutes or hours of getting the shot. If you or someone else experiences these extreme symptoms, it’s best to call 911.

How effective is the seasonal flu vaccine?

The effectiveness of flu vaccines can vary greatly. It varies from season to season, partly because the age of the person getting the shot and their health status matter regarding the flu vaccine’s effectiveness. It can also vary depending on the match between the dominant virus and the vaccine’s match to that strain. However, the flu vaccine match has been good in recent years, preventing flu illness and complications. However, it still is possible for the flu vaccination benefits to vary depending on the characteristics of the vaccinated individual (age and health), types of flu viruses making rounds, and the type of flu vaccine used.

Benefits of flu vaccination include:

  • It can prevent you from getting sick with the flu.
  • Flu vaccination reduces the risk of getting flu-associated hospitalisation.
  • According to several studies, seasonal flu vaccination reduces the illness severity in people who’ve been vaccinated but still got sick {1}
  • Seasonal flu vaccination is especially important as a preventive tool for people suffering from certain chronic illnesses. For example, the flu vaccination has reduced rates of cardiac events amongst those with heart disease {2}.
  • When pregnant women get the seasonal flu vaccination, it protects them and their infants in the first few months of life from the flu.

What are the first symptoms of seasonal flu?

At first, flu symptoms will seem like a common cold. You’ll experience symptoms like sneezing, sore throat, and runny nose. However, you’ll notice that the flu doesn’t act like a common cold since it comes on suddenly, and while colds feel bad, the flu will make you feel miserable. Common symptoms of seasonal flu include:

  • Aching muscles
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Chills and sweats
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny and stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Eye pain
  • Tiredness and weakness
  • Dry, persistent cough
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea (often more common in kids than adults)

Are flu and allergy the same?

Our Allergy Test kit

Even though some allergy symptoms and flu symptoms may seem similar, these two are different conditions. Flu and allergy affect the respiratory system, so they share many symptoms. However, it’s easy to tell them apart even with the symptoms. For example, while you’ll experience a fever when you have flu, allergies don’t come with a fever. The flu will cause your body to suffer from pain and aches, while an allergy won’t. At the beginning of your flu infection, you’ll feel extreme exhaustion which you won’t feel when suffering from seasonal allergies.

Seasonal flu is accompanied by a cough, while allergies rarely include coughs. You can always protect yourself from the flu by taking a flu vaccine; however, to avoid allergies, you must avoid allergens that may trigger your allergy symptoms. When suffering from allergies, you can easily take an Allergy Test, which will help you narrow down the culprit so you can easily avoid it in your environment or food.


  1. Ferdinands, J. M., Thompson, M. G., Blanton, L., Spencer, S., Grant, L., & Fry, A. M. (2021). Does influenza vaccination attenuate the severity of breakthrough infections? A narrative review and recommendations for further research. Vaccine, 39(28), 3678-3695. (
  2. Udell, J. A., Zawi, R., Bhatt, D. L., Keshtkar-Jahromi, M., Gaughran, F., Phrommintikul, A., Ciszewski, A., Vakili, H., Hoffman, E. B., Farkouh, M. E., & Cannon, C. P. (2013). Association between influenza vaccination and cardiovascular outcomes in high-risk patients: a meta-analysis. JAMA, 310(16), 1711–1720.