Flu shots are an important step to help you stay healthy all year long. Flus can be debilitating and sometimes severe, especially for infant, children and the elderly.
During the the 2014–15 influenza season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that the flu shot prevented about 67,000 people from going to the hospital for the flu and prevented 1.9 million people from getting the flu in the United States.
Proactive steps to prevent the flu should be taken, but many Americans do not take advantage of flu shots. Part of the reason that some people avoid flu shots is because of the many myths that surround them.
To keep yourself and your family healthy, it is important to learn the truth about flu shots. Here are some flu shot myths and the facts that dispel them.
Flu Shot Myth: You Can Get Sick from the Flu Shot
People sometimes worry that the flu shot can get you sick. Luckily, this is not true.
Though people might experience minor symptoms like low-grade fever or sore muscles after a flu shot, it will not make you sick. The flu vaccine is created with an inactivated virus, so it does not cause infection.
The flu shot takes one to two weeks to take effect, so it is possible for people to get the flu if they get vaccinated when they’ve already been infected. These people may assume that the vaccination is what got them sick, but it is simply a case of unfortunate timing.
Flu Shot Myth: You Don’t Need a Flu Shot Because Flu is Not That Bad
Though the flu is a common ailment, that does not mean that it isn’t serious. There are hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. who are hospitalized due to flu each year. Thousands of people in the country even die of the flu each year, so it is vital to take it seriously.
Flu Shot Myth: You Don’t Need a Flu Shot if You Avoid Cold Weather
Since flu season occurs at the same time that the weather cools off in fall and winter, some people think that the cold weather is what causes the flu. This is not true.
The only way you can get the flu is by being exposed to the virus, which is why the flu shot is so important. Avoiding cold weather will not keep you healthy.
Flu Shot Myth: You Don’t Need a Flu Shot Every Year
It is important to get a flu shot every single year. The vaccine weakens over time, so getting a flu shot when flu season begins is an important part of keeping you healthy.
Flu Shot Myth: Getting a Flu Shot is All You Need to Stay Healthy
Just because you got a flu shot doesn’t mean that you should not take other proactive steps to stay healthy. Wash your hands often and maintain healthy habits, even after you get the flu shot.
Flu shots are part of a healthy routine for your family, so please take advantage of them and help prevent the flu.