With flu season in our midst it is crucial that you keep yourself up to date on information about the flu and flu shots.
Here are six flu myths debunked.
1. Flu Myth: A flu is just a real bad cold, it’s not dangerous.
Fact: The flu can be dangerous and can cause complications, even death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) influenza has resulted in 12,000 – 61,000 deaths annually since 2010.
2. Flu Myth: The flu shot will protect you from all forms of the flu.
Fact: The annual flu vaccine usually includes four strains of the virus that are predicted to be active. However, should you be exposed to a type of flu not included in the shot, you could still get sick.
3. Flu Myth: The flu vaccine will give you the flu.
Fact: The flu vaccine does not contain the live virus. It cannot give you the flu.
4. Flu Myth: I do not need the flu vaccine every year.
Fact: The body’s immune response from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccine is needed for optimal protection.
5. Flu Myth: People with egg allergies cannot get a flu shot.
Fact: Although most FDA-approved flu shots (and one nasal spray flu vaccine) are made using egg-based technology, allergic interactions are very rare, and the CDC says anyone with a history of egg allergies can still get vaccinated. There are also two egg-free vaccines now available.
6. Flu Myth: It’s not safe for me to get the flu shot if I’m pregnant.
Fact: The flu shot is not only safe, but highly recommended while pregnant. In fact, the CDC advises anyone in their third trimester get the flu shot as soon as possible in order to pass on protection to their newborn from day 1.
For easy reference, keep this infographic with important information on flu myths and facts.
To learn more about how to protect yourself from the flu, check out these additional articles:
- How Is Flu Season Different During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Should You Use Antivirals for the Flu?
- Feeling Miserable: Is It a Cold or the Flu?
This article was originally published in December 2017 and has been updated.