By Leslie Shelton, DO | Heuser Family Medicine Resident, PGY-I
There has been a lot of talk about vaccines lately. It can be confusing! So, let’s talk about some information about the flu vaccine and if it’s fact or myth.
“The flu vaccine gives you the flu.” – MYTH
The flu vaccine is a dead form of the virus – it can not make more of itself inside the body. The possible side effects of most vaccines include fever, muscle aches and fatigue and that can be confusing because they are also symptoms of the flu. But it does not mean you have the flu, it just means you received a vaccine and your body is preparing for the possible future.
“The flu vaccine changes every year.” – TRUTH
As the flu virus makes its way across the world, it is constantly changing and evolving. Based on years and years of data, the flu vaccine is altered every year to protect against the most likely strains of flu in the coming year.
“I got the flu vaccine and I still got the flu, so it does not work.” – MYTH
A vaccine is not a magic bullet against getting an infection in the future (but that would be nice)! Instead, it helps make sure that IF you do get sick, your body is much better prepared to fight it so you do not get as ill as you may have without the vaccine.
“Kids should get the flu shot.” – TRUTH
Any person 6 months of age or older should get the yearly flu vaccine. For those who are around infants younger than 6 months, it is even MORE important to be vaccinated to help protect them.
“I am allergic to eggs, so I cannot get the flu vaccine.” – MYTH
This used to be true, but not any longer! The making of the flu vaccine has changed to be egg-free so that it is now safe to give to people with egg allergies.
Want More Info?
If you have any questions about the flu vaccine, the doctors and pharmacists in your community would be more than happy to answer them. NOAH has also compiled 5 Things to Know for Flu Season specific to the 2021/2022 season. We are all in this together, so let’s prevent the flu!