5 Common Myths About the Flu Shot
The flu season is upon us once again. Experts are warning the general public of another bad flu season. Last year's flu season was dubbed an epidemic by some, this year may just be as bad. One of the best ways we can protect ourselves from influenza is getting a flu shot. I got my flu shot this morning, which took no time at all. (No, the tattoo isn't real, it's for a video coming soon.)
There are many myths about the flu shot. Many people forgo getting the vaccine because of these myths, but that makes them at a heightened risk of getting sick. These 5 flu shot myths have been debunked by doctors.
The flu shot gives you the flu.
This is by far the biggest and most talked about myth about the flu shot. It is simply not true. The argument made is always the same, someone knows someone who got the flu right after they received the flu shot. This is pure coincidence. Check out this article about last year's flu epidemic.
Flu shots are made with live flu cultures.
FALSE. According to the CDC, "...[T]he vaccine is made either with a) flu viruses that have been ‘inactivated’ (killed) and that therefore are not infectious, or b) using only a single gene from a flu virus (as opposed to the full virus) in order to produce an immune response without causing infection."
You can't get the flu if you got your flu shot.
According to the Mayo Clinic, unfortunately even if you do get your flu shot there is a chance you will get the flu. "It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to take full effect." This means if you come in contact with the virus in that time you may just contract influenza. There are many strains of flu that vary year by year, this means doctors must predict to the best of their ability which strains they must create the vaccine for. The vaccine does not protect against all strains. However, the flu shot is still your best line of defense against the virus.
The flu shot is dangerous for pregnant women.
This couldn't be more inaccurate. The CDC actually places a higher importance on pregnant women to receive the flu shot. According to an article published by the CDC, "A number of studies have shown that in addition to helping to protect pregnant women, a flu vaccine given during pregnancy helps protect the baby from flu infection for several months after birth, when he or she is not old enough to be vaccinated."
You are more suseptible to respitory infections after getting the flu shot.
Back in 2012 a study was published stating "...[T]hat influenza vaccination might make people more susceptible to other respiratory infections." However, after that study was published experts looked into the idea further and found that this was not the case. They discovered, "...[I]nfluenza vaccination does not, in fact, make people more susceptible to other respiratory infections."