Pop Quiz: Test Your Knowledge About the Flu Shot

It’s that time of the year when the flu starts to rear its ugly head, and it’s time to get a flu shot to keep the virus at bay. The typical flu season starts around October and can last into May. You may have a lot of questions concerning the flu vaccination, especially if you’ve heard any of the bits of misinformation surrounding the flu shot. Take our quiz to test your knowledge and arm yourself with the facts about the flu shot.

1.) True or False? The flu shot can give you the flu.


2.) Who should get the flu shot?

    1. Everyone 6 months of age and older
    2. Those who are at a high risk of serious complications from the flu, such as the elderly, pregnant women, and people with certain chronic health conditions
    3. Those working in settings with increased risk, such as childcare and health care
    4. All of the above

3.) How does the flu vaccine work?

    1. The flu shot contains inactive variations of the flu virus that allow your body to create antibodies (virus-fighting cells) that will recognize and fight the same “wild” flu virus if you come into contact with it.
    2. The flu shot contains antibodies that will fight any flu viruses you come into contact with.
    3. The flu shot keeps the flu virus from replicating and infecting you.
    4. The flu shot makes it harder for the flu virus to enter your body.


4.) Which strains of the flu virus are in this year’s flu shot?

    1. A/Brisbane/02/2018 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
    2. A/Kansas/14/2017 (H3N2)-like virus
    3. B/Colorado/06/2017-like (Victoria lineage) virus
    4. B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (Yamagata lineage) virus
    5. All of the above

5.) True or False? It is still possible to get the flu from a flu strain not included in this year’s shot, though it’s believed the flu shot still provides some protection and lessens the severity of the flu.


6.) True or False? Vaccinating early – for example, in July or August –may lead to reduced protection against influenza later in the season, particularly among older adults.


7.) When does the CDC recommend getting a flu shot by?

    1. The end of November 
    2. The end of October
    3. The end of September
    4. Then end of August


8.) How long does it take after getting the flu shot for it to provide protection?

    1. About two hours
    2. About two days
    3. About two weeks
    4. About two months


9.) What options are available for getting the flu shot?

    1. The standard dose flu shot given as an injection with a needle or a jet injector
    2. A nasal spray flu vaccine
    3. Specially formulated flu shots, like those with virus grown in cell culture, not egg, and shots made using a vaccine production technology, called recombinant vaccine, and doesn’t require the use of flu virus.
    4. All of the above


10.) Where can you get a flu shot?

    1. Doctor’s offices, clinics, and health departments 
    2. Pharmacies 
    3. College health centers and even some schools
    4. Some employers
    5. All of the above


11.) True or False? There are no treatments or medications that can fight the flu once you have it.

compiled by ERIKA ALDRICH 

Resources: Information provided by The Centers for Disease Control (CDC).


  1. False. The flu shot can cause a response in your body for a day or two as it fights the inactive flu viruses in the immunization that can resemble a cold, but it is not the flu.
  2. D. The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months should get a flu shot, with certain people—such as those in B and C—strongly recommended to get a flu shot.
  3. A. The inactive variations of the flu virus in the shot let your body prepare by creating antibodies that will fight that same flu virus.
  4. E. All of the above. This year’s flu shot will protect against four different flu strains.
  5. True. If you come into contact with a strain of the flu not included in the flu shot, then you will likely come down with the flu.
  6. True. The CDC recommends getting a flu shot at the beginning of flu season, and not sooner.
  7. B. The end of October
  8. C. About two weeks. You can still come down with the flu if you come into contact with the flu virus in between getting the shot and your body making antibodies.
  9. D. All of the above.
  10. E. All of the above
  11. False. There are a few antiviral drugs that can be used to treat the flu, usually within 48 hours of symptoms.

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