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.