3 Flu Myths You Shouldn't Fall for This Year
Because the situation surrounding COVID-19 is constantly evolving, some information may not be up to date. Stay informed by following information from your local officials and by visiting the CDC website.
Getting a flu shot has never been more important. By vaccinating against the flu, you are reducing its spread during the COVID-19 pandemic, helping local hospital systems manage capacity throughout the season. Don’t let these misconceptions stop you from getting immunized.
Myth #1: “The flu vaccine will give me the flu.”
Fact: You can’t get the flu from the flu shot. The shot includes an inactivated or dead virus that is not infectious. If you develop flu-like symptoms after getting the shot, it could be your immune system reacting as expected to the perceived threat, causing mild symptoms, or you caught something in the two-week window before your body had a chance to develop a good amount of antibodies.
Myth #2: “It’s better to get the flu than get the shot.”
Fact: The flu virus remains one of the top 10 leading causes of death each year in the U.S. Influenza can cause serious infection, like pneumonia, in high-risk populations, such as infants, seniors, and those with underlying medical conditions. Bottom line: Influenza can cause severe complications with devastating consequences. Preventive measures like vaccination carry much lower risks of harm.
Myth #3: “Healthy people don’t need to get a flu shot.”
Fact: While it’s especially important for high-risk populations, everyone benefits from getting vaccinated, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Plus, when you get a flu shot, you further protect vulnerable members of your community by not allowing the virus to multiply and spread from yourself. CDC guidelines recommend yearly vaccination for anyone older than 6 months of age, including pregnant women. If the pandemic has shown us anything, it is that no one is immune to these highly contagious viruses.
How can I prevent the flu?
Here are some simple tips to protect yourself and your family this flu season:
- Get the flu vaccine.
- Avoid close contact with those who are sick and stay home if you are.
- Wear a mask when in public.
- Use your elbow to cover coughs and sneezes.
- Wash hands thoroughly for 20 seconds each time, and carry hand sanitizer with you to use frequently.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Disinfect common surfaces.
- Ensure you are maintaining a physical distance of six feet in public spaces.
The CDC recommends getting vaccinated between early fall (the end of September) and the end of October to be best protected as it takes about two weeks for your body to develop immunity. However, it’s never too late to get the flu shot.
Schedule a visit with your Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group primary care physician to get your vaccination. Our clinics have safety protocols in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including minimized wait time, masking, symptom screening, and frequent sanitization.
Share these busted myths with your friends and family!