The vaccine is made up of inactivated virus, so it is impossible to get the flu from the shot. The reaction that some experience, explains Young, is a reaction to other ingredients in the mix. The body may respond with some fever, aches, and malaise any time a foreign substance is introduced into the system. “People think the symptoms signal a case of the flu,’' Young notes, “when in reality, it is the body’s normal reaction to something it recognizes as not its own.’' --E.N.
A version of this article appeared in the December 01, 1989 edition of Teacher as A Shot At Being Healthier