Flu shots Fact vs Fiction

Flu shots are a must during flu season. But unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation with flu shots. Not sure about whether you should get flu shots? Here are some facts vs fiction.

Fiction: The flu shot can give you the flu.
Fact: It is not possible to get the flu from a flu shot.

The majority of individuals don't have any negative effects from a flu shots, and when they do occur, they are typically quite mild. Although soreness, redness, tenderness, or swelling is common in which the flu shot is given, the flu shot can't cause you to catch the flu. This is because influenza vaccines are made out of viruses that are inactivated or weakened, and recombinant influenza vaccines don't have any virus at all.

When people report getting the flu after getting vaccinated, it's very likely that they were already sick or were exposed to the flu virus throughout the 2-week interval it takes for immunity to settle in. Another explanation is that some rhinoviruses, which are connected with the common cold, cause symptoms similar to the flu and may be wrongly understood as the flu.

Fiction: It is fine to skip the flu shot if you have gotten vaccinated in years before.
Fact: You need a flu shot every year.

Unlike the polio and chickenpox vaccines, protection via the flu shot declines over time, so an annual vaccination is required to get the best defense against the flu. Even though you might have some protection if you got the flu vaccine this past year, the surest way is to get it every year. Strains of influenza are diverse and may undergo changes, so it is important to get the most updated flu shots.

Fiction: Flu season has started, so it is too late for the flu shot.
Fact: It's not too late to find a flu vaccine until flu season is over.

So long as the flu is going around, vaccinations can still be beneficial, even in January or after because influenza activity can start as early as September and continue as late as May. This usually means you have loads of opportunity to come in contact with the flu.

Fiction: Pregnant women shouldn’t get the flu shot.
Fact: Pregnant women should get the flu shot.

Because of the changes in the body during pregnancy, pregnant women, and individuals who recently gave birth, are more likely to undergo acute illness, hospitalization, and even death from the flu.

It also protects both the mother and the child. Flu antibodies are passed to the fetus during pregnancy and provide protection after birth, at a time when the child is too young to be vaccinated. Therefore, any woman who is pregnant or considering pregnancy during the flu season ought to be vaccinated.

Fiction: If you're young and fit, you do not need a flu shot.
Fact: It is important to get the flu shot for everybody older than 6 weeks.

The flu is a severe viral illness that could make anyone seriously ill, even healthy people. For those older than 65 or younger than 2, and individuals with chronic diseases, there can be a higher risk of getting the flu. However, for anyone outside of that group, you can still get the flu. Just children younger than 6 weeks and those with severe, life threatening allergies to flu vaccine should not get the flu shot.

Fiction: I received the flu shot, so it's not possible for me to get the flu.
Fact: The flu shot reduces your risk of getting the flu.

The flu shot is the best way to safeguard yourself and others around you from getting the flu. But in addition to getting vaccinated, it is possible to take regular preventive steps like washing your hands to decrease the spread of germs. The flu shot simply reduces your risk and it can't assure that you won't receive the flu. If you do get the flu despite getting the vaccine, your illness is generally considerably milder. If you're down with the flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading it to other people.