“I (or my friend) got the vaccine and it gave them an awful dose of the flu”
Actually this is not possible as the vaccine is not a live virus you can NEVER catch it from the vaccine.
(1) Less than 1% of people get a side effect where they develop flu-like symptoms, such as mild fever and muscle aches, after vaccination. This is usually mild and brief lasting at most 24 to 48 hours. These side effects are not the same as having influenza.
(2) Immunity takes 1-2 weeks to develop – if you are exposed to the flu during this interval you will be just as likely to catch it – avoid that by getting your flu vaccine early.
(3) To many people "the flu" is any illness with fever and cold symptoms. Influenza vaccine only protects against certain influenza viruses, not all viruses.
(4) The influenza vaccine is not 100% effective, especially in older persons. So if you are around a person who is older or has a health condition you can protect them by getting vaccinated also as the vaccine may not be as effective in them.