Most Common Myths about the Flu

The best place for you to learn about the flu and the flu vaccine is in your doctor’s office. Your physician can help guide you through the many opinions and myths that are shared amongst us. But remember, any questions you have about the flu and its vaccine should be addressed with your doctor, not Google. Here are a few myths that we often hear and we’d like to clear up.

MYTH: You can get the flu from the vaccine.

Nope. The flu vaccine has an inactive virus, a dead virus that cannot transmit an infection. If you get sick within a week or two after getting a flu shot, you were already sick. It takes 1 to 2 weeks for the flu shot to start protecting you. This is a great reason why it’s important to get your flu shot early in the season.

MYTH: It’s just the flu, nothing serious.

The flu is not a disease to take lightly. Even healthy children and adults can get very sick from flu. Plus, if you’re someone who is at high risk of developing complications from the flu, the risk of hospitalization or death increases. This includes seniors, young children, anyone with long-term health problems, such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease, and even pregnant women.

MYTH: The flu vaccine is not safe.

The flu vaccine goes through a rigorous safety test, just like all vaccines. Many times vaccine skeptics point to inactive ingredients used in some versions of flu vaccines. Two of those include Thimerosal and Formaldehyde. Thimerosal is used as a preservative and formaldehyde is used in killing the live virus to make it inactive. Repeated studies have shown that these substances are not harmful in the tiny amounts contained in flu vaccines.

MYTH: Flu shot side effects are worse than the flu itself.

The flu vaccine can occasionally cause side effects such as mild aches, fatigue, headache, or fever. The most common side effect is discomfort or minor pain around the site of the injection. These side effects are not nearly as severe as the actual flu.

MYTH: Flu shots don’t work.

The CDC conducts studies every year to determine how well the season’s vaccine protects people against flu illness. The vaccine here in the USA is based on the flu in the southern hemisphere as their flu season is ending when ours is beginning.

Plus, studies show that vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness between 40% and 60% when the vaccines are well-matched against the viruses.

MYTH: Healthy people don’t need to be vaccinated.

Healthy people get the flu. Even though it may not be as severe, healthy people benefit from being vaccinated.

MYTH: I never get sick so I don’t need the flu shot.

Anyone can get sick from the influenza virus. By getting the flu shot, you’re basically getting insurance. If you get the flu, the symptoms won’t be as severe. Or the shot can completely keep you from getting it at all. Either way, it’s protecting you.

For more information on how and where you can get your flu shot with Hamilton, call 810.406.4246.

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