3 Myths About the Flu Shot

Posted on October 27, 2020

Category: Urgent Care General

Misinformation is everywhere. And the online anti-vaccine movement is a notorious source of it. Misinformation about the flu can be almost as dangerous as the flu itself: the flu can be fatal for people with compromised immune systems, or the very young, or the very old. Despite the proven effectiveness of the flu vaccine, thousands of people each year refuse to get the shot. Today, we’re here to put down the myths about the flu shot that far too many Americans believe.

Three myths about the flu vaccine.

Myth 1: The Flu Shot is Unsafe

Millions of Americans get the flu shot every year, yet some folks still insist that flu shots are unsafe. This couldn’t be further from the truth for two reasons.

1. Flu shots are effective

2. Side effects are mild

The flu vaccine prevents millions of illnesses and flu-related doctor visits each year. During the 2018-2019 flu season, vaccination prevented an estimated 4.4 million influenza illnesses, 2.3 million influenza-associated medical visits, 58,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations and 3,500 influenza-associated deaths. The numbers speak for themselves.

Every medical product has side effects and vaccines are no different. If you do experience side effects after getting the flu shot, they are typically quite mild. Common side effects include:

  • Soreness/redness from the shot
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Nausea

If you experience serious side effects not on this list, be sure to contact your physician. Also, if you’re curious about the makeup of any vaccine, visit the CDC website. Today’s vaccines only use the ingredients they need to be as safe and effective as possible, which everyone can see online.

Myth 2: You Don’t Need a Flu Shot Every Year

The fact of the matter is that influenza viruses are constantly changing. Because of this, vaccines are renewed and reviewed every year and updated as needed. Previous vaccines were developed for previous manifestations of the virus. That is why you have to get a new shot every new flu season. It’s also important that you get the flu shot as early as you can. You’ve got to fight this year’s flu with this year’s shot.

Myth 3: I Got the Shot Before and Still Got the Flu, So it Doesn’t Work

There are multiple influenza viruses circulating each season, which is why people may get the flu after being vaccinated. However, getting the shot significantly improves the chance of being protected from the flu. Also, the flu shot takes about two weeks after vaccination for the antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection. So, there is a possibility you contract the flu within those two weeks. That is why it’s always recommended that you get your flu shot early.

Getting a flu shot this year is more important than ever. By getting the flu shot, you’re helping yourself and the people around you from the flu… as well as reducing the strain on the healthcare system that’s currently fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. While fringe attitudes toward vaccination may gain some spotlight online, it is important to know your facts about the flu and protect yourself and others.