I don't get a flu shot every year. It's a cost/benefit analysis every autumn... and this time I found myself pregnant and going to be in my 3rd trimester through the worst of the flu season, and with two older kids often bringing something home from public school... so I went ahead and got it. I didn't want to, because I don't react to the shot well and I never have. I experience flu-like symptoms for at least 3 days. It really knocks me out; I'm completely exhausted, I have body aches, my temp is a little elevated. And my arm is sore for over a week. Being a hypo has taught me that feeling symptoms isn't always bad, and symptoms don't always mean something's wrong. It helps me not to panic when I think about it like this... the vaccine introduces an unfamiliar invader and my body is reacting to it in a way similar to live, active flu -- so of course I might feel symptoms similar to those that happen with real flu. I know the vax doesn't make me immune in that I'll not catch the flu at all, but it gives my body a heads up that those strains exist and have to be attacked immediately.
At this point in the flu season, I can't tell you how relieved I am that I got my shot months ago. I'm heavily pregnant and in the most high risk age group for this particular flu that is circulating now. I might get sick enough to be hospitalized, but that flu shot just might make the difference between life and death. Even if I weren't pregnant, knowing that this year's flu targets people my age, I would probably go ahead and get my shot. I am trying to do the best I can with hygeine and isolating myself and keeping healthy and all those other things I do in an active flu year (last time I had it was 2009 and it was awful). The hardest thing to control is the panic that wants to take over sometimes. Stress has a negative effect on the immune system.