No, a flu shot cannot give you the flu. Flu vaccines that are administered with a needle are currently made in two ways: the vaccine is made either with a) flu vaccine viruses that have been ‘inactivated’ and are therefore not infectious, or b) with no flu vaccine viruses at all (which is the case for recombinant influenza vaccine). In randomized, blinded studies, where some people got flu shots and others got saltwater shots, the only differences in symptoms was increased soreness in the arm and redness at the injection site among people who got the flu shot. There were no differences in terms of body aches, fever, cough, runny nose or sore throat.
Everyone 6 months and older is recommended for annual flu vaccination with rare exception. For the 2016-2017 season, CDC recommends use of injectable flu vaccines–inactivated influenza vaccine (or IIV) or the recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV). The nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) should not be used during 2016-2017. This page lists all people recommended to get a flu vaccine, who can and can’t get the flu shot and who should take precautions or talk to their doctor or other health care professional before vaccination. Talk to your doctor or nurse if you have any questions regarding which flu vaccine is best for you and your family.