Why people are getting the flu despite being vaccinated

Posted at 4:13 PM, Jan 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-02 21:23:21-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Health officials in San Diego have reported flu cases dramatically rising this season as tents are being set up outside of hospitals to deal with an overflow of flu patients.

So far in San Diego County, three out of the 11 patients who have died from the flu had received a flu shot.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are four reasons someone may get the flu, or flu symptoms, even after receiving the flu shot.

RELATED: Health officials report skyrocketing flu cases in San Diego

One explanation is that it’s possible to be exposed to influenza viruses shortly before getting vaccinated or within the two-week period after vaccination that it takes the body to develop protection.

The second reason people may still get the flu after being vaccinated is that they may have been exposed to a flu virus that is very different from the viruses the vaccine protects against.

RELATED: Five things to do now before the flu hits

The CDC says it’s also possible that people may become ill from another respiratory virus that causes symptoms similar to that of the flu.

Finally, the CDC says the flu vaccine can vary in how well it works and some people may still get the flu after being vaccinated.

Below are some tips on how to help protect against getting the flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your arm 
  • Stay away from sick people whenever possible 
  • Stay home when you are sick