Is the flu shot for you? Five facts and myths to help you decide

September 26, 2019

It’s September, so we all know what that means. Doctors are soon about to start urging that you should get the flu vaccine if you haven’t already done so.

Given that nearly 1 million people were hospitalized in the United States over the course of the last few flu seasons, getting vaccinated seems to be crucial. Especially since 2017’s flu season was particularly impactful.

Doctors are suggesting that people who’ve received the flu shot before, should get it again as soon as possible.

But, despite the danger, there are many rumors surrounding the flu shot that may lead people to avoid vaccination altogether.

A 2017 survey found that a majority of parents think the flu shot can even lead to the flu, which is not true, or that the flu vaccine doesn’t work at all.

If you’re not sure what is a flu myth, we’ve gathered up some important things to know below.

Flu fact #1

Flu season starts late October and ends around early April. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention- Trusted Source said the flu season runs from October to May and recommends getting a new dose of flu vaccine each year. The reason is that there are countless, ever-changing strains of the flu.

Flu fact #2:

Despite what most people think, vaccines can fight multiple flu strains at once. Every year a new vaccine has to be developed in order to protect against the three or four different viruses that will emerge in a given year.

In 2017, the vaccine was highly criticized and was said to not be strong enough to fight H3N2, last year’s dominant viral strain of influenza and one that causes more severe disease than others.

Now, that we’ve outlined some flu facts, let’s debunk some flu myths.

Myth #1

You can get the flu from the flu shot. Contrary to popular belief, the flu vaccine does not contain a live virus, so you can’t get the flu from the shot. That’s a common misconception.

So why do people feel feverish or achy in the days after getting the shot?

Researchers state that that doesn’t mean you now have the flu. It means a person’s body is reacting to the vaccine. The nasal flu spray, however, is a live virus vaccine, but it is weakened so you cannot get infected.

Myth #2

Many people think that you don’t need to get a new flu shot every year but the truth is flu strains mutate every year, so you need to get the new vaccine each year to take account of these variations.

Myth #3

There’s also a false belief that if you’re in good shape, you don’t need the vaccine. Researchers say that changes once you end up getting the flu by not getting vaccinated and that even young people can get severe influenza.

Studies show that it is true that a younger and healthier person is not as high risk as seniors or young children, but that even a person in their prime health can get sick.

To conclude, experts say now is the best time to get your flu shot. Despite common myths, the flu shot cannot give you the flu, you cannot be too healthy that you don’t need it and you need to get a new shot every year.

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