Posted on : September 29, 2023 by Clinic One on Flu Vaccines
As flu season approaches, the topic of flu shots returns to the forefront stage. Every year, myths and facts regarding flu vaccines spread, often leading to uncertainty and even a dislike of being vaccinated.
It is critical to distinguish between flu vaccine myths and facts to make informed health decisions. In this blog post, we’ll debunk several common flu vaccine myths and give the medical facts.
Myths vs. Facts of the Flu Vaccine
Myth 1: The flu shot can give you the flu.
Fact: This is the most common conception. The injected flu vaccine contains an inactivated or weakened virus that cannot cause flu. If you feel achy or have a slight fever, it is a normal reaction of the immune system to the vaccine, and these are signs that your immune system is responding to the vaccine, building up protection against the actual virus. and generally lasts only a day or two.
Myth 2: Flu is not serious, so I don’t need the vaccine.
Fact: Each year, 650000 individuals die from the flu. The likely impact is significantly greater, given that it only represents respiratory deaths. Even healthy people are susceptible to the flu, especially those with weakened immune systems. The majority of individuals will feel better in a few weeks, but some may experience complications such as sinus and ear infections, pneumonia, cardiac problems, or inflammations of the brain or heart.
Myth 3: You don’t need a flu shot every year.
Fact: The flu virus evolves and changes over time, and different strains circulate. (The CDC explains it by using the terms “drift” and “shift.”) The strain that caused last year’s flu might not be the same as this year’s. Getting vaccinated each year helps to ensure that you are protected against the latest strains.
Myth 4: Healthy people do not need a flu shot.
Fact: Influenza can be seriously harmful and can even affect healthy people. Since the virus’s circulating strains change every year, everyone above 6 months of age and older should get vaccinated.
Myth 5: I got the flu despite having the vaccine; thus, it doesn’t work.
Fact: Because the vaccination is specific to only one strain of the flu virus, people who have been vaccinated may still acquire the flu. Getting vaccinated, on the other hand, increases your chances of avoiding the flu. This is especially critical to prevent the virus from harming people with weakened immune systems.
Myth 5: It’s not safe to get a flu shot while pregnant.
Fact: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that pregnant people should get a flu shot to protect themselves and their babies from the flu. According to research, women who receive the flu shot have a healthy pregnancy and are less likely to have a baby with birth defects or other issues.
Myth 6: The flu vaccine is 100 percent effective.
Fact: The flu vaccine’s effectiveness varies from year to year, depending on which of the many different flu viruses is circulating. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu vaccine reduces the odds of getting the flu by about 70%. However, that number varies from year to year and among different age groups. Even when the vaccine doesn’t completely prevent the flu, it may lessen the severity of your illness. Even if it is not 100% effective, it is the best way to prevent the flu.
When it comes to the flu vaccine, separating reality from fiction is critical for making informed health decisions.
The flu vaccine does not cause the flu, and the benefits significantly exceed the risks or minor side effects.
Whether you’re healthy or at high risk, getting vaccinated not only protects you but also contributes to the community’s well-being. Keep in mind that, while the flu vaccine is not 100% effective, it does significantly reduce the severity of the illness and the risk of complications. Stay educated, seek medical advice, and prioritize your health by getting vaccinated against the flu.
References: 5 myths about the flu vaccine. (n.d.). Retrieved August 23, 2023, from https://www.who.int/news-room/spotlight/influenza-are-we-ready/5-myths-about-the-flu-vaccine Flu Vaccine Effectiveness: How Well Does It Work? (n.d.). Retrieved August 23, 2023, from https://www.webmd.com/vaccines/how-effective-is-flu-vaccine Griffin, R. M. (n.d.). How Effective Is the Flu Vaccine? WebMD. Retrieved August 23, 2023, from https://www.webmd.com/vaccines/how-effective-is-flu-vaccine Top Seven Flu Myths Debunked | UCSF Health. (n.d.). Retrieved August 23, 2023, from https://www.ucsfhealth.org/en/education/top-seven-flu-myths-debunked
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