October 8, 2018

MYTH: The flu is not that serious.

FACT: On the contrary, every year 200,000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized and about 36,000 die from complications from the flu.

MYTH: The flu shot can cause the flu.

FACT: The flu shot CANNOT cause the flu (because it is not a live virus vaccine).  Flu vaccine does not protect you from other viruses that sometimes feel like the flu.  If you get the flu or get sick after a flu shot, it is because you were actually exposed to someone with the flu virus prior to receiving the shot.

MYTH: I rarely get sick, so I don't need the flu vaccine.

FACT: Even if you don't get the flu, you still can be infectious and transmit the flu to others (i.e. patients, your family, co-workers, etc.).  So even if you don't take the flu vaccine for yourself, do it for those around you.

MYTH: The flu is just like a bad cold.

FACT: The flu is far more dangerous than a bad cold.  It is a disease of the lungs, and it can lead to pneumonia.

MYTH: You must get a flu shot before December for it to be effective.

FACT: The flu shot can be given before or during the flu season.  While the best time to get a flu shot is October or November, a flu shot in December or later will still protect you against the flu.  It takes two weeks for the vaccine to take effect.

MYTH: I can't take the flu vaccine because I'm pregnant.

FACT: Not true.  Pregnant women should take the flu vaccine to protect their unborn baby and themselves.  Vaccination can take place in any trimester.

MYTH: Healthy people don't need the flu vaccine.

FACT: ANYONE can develop complications from the flu, so it is recommended that EVERYONE older than 6 months of age get the vaccine.

MYTH: Only elderly people are at risk of developing serious complications from the flu.

FACT: The following groups of people should take the flu vaccine because they are at higher risk for complications from the flu or they are in close contact with someone at higher risk of flu complications:

  • Pregnant women
  • Anyone 50 years of age or older
  • People of any age with certain chronic health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease)
  • People who live in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities
  • Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications of the flu
  • Household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age
  • Health care workers
  • ALL children over 6 months of age

FACT: The single best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated every year!

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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