Flu season can last as long as October to May. It’s important to get your flu shot every year to protect yourself from the virus! Let’s debunk some common flu myths:
MYTH: The flu vaccine can cause the flu.
Flu shots are made with weakened or inactivated flu viruses that cannot transmit infection, and therefore the flu vaccine cannot cause the flu. It takes around 2 weeks for the flu vaccine to become effective and provide protection against the flu. Within that 2 weeks it is possible for an individual to get the flu or another respiratory virus since the vaccine is not yet effective. This is why it is important to get your flu shot at the beginning of flu season!
MYTH: Healthy people don’t need flu shots.
The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months receive a flu shot every year.
MYTH: It is not necessary to get a flu shot every year.
The flu virus changes each year and new strains of the virus cause outbreaks. It is important to get your flu shot every year so that your body can develop immunity for the most current strains of the virus.
MYTH: The flu is just a bad cold.
The most common flu symptoms are similar to those of a bad cold. Although the symptoms may not seem severe, older adults and individuals managing chronic conditions could experience additional complications or even hospitalization if they get the flu.
MYTH: The only way to protect yourself from the flu is getting a flu shot.
Flu shots are the best way to protect yourself during flu season, but there are other things you can do to stay healthy. Washing your hands often, avoiding contact with people who have the flu, and taking anti-viral medications if you think you may have been exposed to the flu are all good ways to protect yourself.