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Top 5 Flu Shot Misconceptions

flu vaccine myths. flu shot misconceptions

According to Health Canada, the influenza virus affects 10-25% of the total population.

Simply, being sick with the flu can put you in bed for days at a time and make you feel miserable.

The flu shot is an inactivated vaccine (carrying a virus that has been destroyed) often injected via a needle in the upper arm. Most individuals tolerate it well and feel it to be safe.

However, a few flu shot misconceptions can deter people from getting vaccinated.

Let’s look at some of these flu shot myths and the facts behind them.

Myth 1: The Flu Virus Is Too Weak

One of the most common flu shot misconceptions is that the flu virus is too weak to cause any harm. This isn’t true. The flu virus is a highly contagious respiratory illness that can cause severe symptoms, including sore throat, headache, fever, muscle aches, and fatigue.

In some cases, it can also lead to pneumonia, which can be a serious or even life-threatening condition.

Myth 2: I Don’t Need the Flu Vaccine Because I Never Get Sick

Even if you are generally healthy and don’t get sick often, it’s still important to get vaccinated. The flu virus can be deadly, and even healthy people can succumb to its effects.

Moreover, even if you don’t get sick, you can still spread the virus to others who may be more vulnerable, such as young children or older adults.

Getting vaccinated is not just about protecting yourself – it’s also about protecting others.

Myth 3: Antiviral Drugs Are Better Than Vaccines

Antiviral drugs can be effective at treating the flu, but they are not a substitute for vaccination.

Vaccines help to prevent getting sick in the first place, while antivirals only treat symptoms after contracting the virus. Therefore, getting a flu shot and an annual influenza antiviral prescription from your doctor is important.

Myth 4: The Flu Vaccine Will Give Me the Flu

Another flu shot misconception is that the inactivated virus can give you flu.

The flu vaccine is made with inactivated (dead) viruses, so it can’t give you the flu.

It’s also worth noting that it takes approximately two weeks for your body to develop complete immunity after getting the flu shot vaccine, so it’s possible to get sick with the flu during this time frame. However, if you get sick, your illness will likely be less severe than if you had not been vaccinated.

Sometimes, folks may experience side effects from the flu vaccine, such as a low-grade fever, or a sore arm but these issues are nothing compared to the unpleasant symptoms of the actual flu.

Myth 5: Flu Shots Have Dangerous Side Effects

While it is certainly possible to have an adverse reaction to any vaccine, the reality is that the risks posed by the flu are far greater than the risks posed by the vaccine.

Every year, tens of thousands of people die from the flu, and many more are hospitalized. The CDC estimates that influenza results in about 700,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths each year in the United States alone.

In comparison, CDC data shows that there were only 1,170 reported cases of severe reactions to flu vaccines between 2010 and 2016.

When it comes to protecting your health, getting a flu shot is one of the smartest decisions you can make.

Ending Notes

As you can see, several flu vaccine myths are circulating among the general audience.

However, these myths are unfounded and based on misinformation. The truth is that flu vaccines are safe and effective and offer invaluable protection against often severe diseases.

When it comes to protecting yourself and your family from influenza, don’t let myths stand in your way.

We always recommend talking to your primary care physician and pharmacist before adding anything new to your routine. This way, you can be sure that what you’re taking is safe and appropriate for you. Stop by one of our pharmacy locations today to diss your wellness goals.