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VERIFY: No, the flu shot won't make you test positive for COVID-19

Viewers asked the VERIFY team to look into claims that the flu vaccine could inadvertently trigger a positive result on a coronavirus test.

Claims online about the influenza vaccine possibly causing false positives on COVID-19 tests have had many viewers asking VERIFY to investigate whether or not that's true. 


Can the flu shot cause you to inadvertently test positive for COVID-19?


No, the flu shot won't make you test positive for COVID-19. Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration say that flu vaccines contain no type of coronavirus, like the one that causes COVID-19. 

According to the CDC, flu vaccines come from the influenza virus, and are produced from an inactivated one to create immunity.

The CDC even has a specific section on its website about "Misconceptions about Seasonal Flu and Flu Vaccines." The CDC noted that flu shots are made in two ways, with flu viruses that have been "inactivated" or killed and aren't infectious, or using only one gene from a flu virus, as opposed to the full virus, to create an immune response without causing infection. The CDC also said flu vaccines cannot cause flu illness. 

SARS-CoV-2, or COVID-19, is a coronavirus, not an influenza virus, which means getting a flu vaccine will not cause you to test positive for coronavirus.

Credit: AP
FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2018 file photo, a nurse prepares a flu shot at the Salvation Army in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

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