Every flu season, there are people who hesitate to get the flu shot, because they are wrapped up in the many widespread misconceptions about this helpful vaccine. If you are avoiding the flu shot because of assumptions that you will get the flu from the vaccine or you will be exposed to harmful vaccine ingredients, it is time for you to rethink influenza immunization with the truth behind these common myths.
Myth: Healthy People Do Not Need the Flu Shot
You might think that the flu shot is not necessary for you if you rarely get the flu and are otherwise healthy. Unfortunately, this opinion overlooks the benefits of herd immunity, which comes from more widespread immunization to reduce the spread of the virus.
Myth: People with Severe Allergies Cannot Have the Flu Shot
Most varieties of the flu shot do contain ingredients like egg and gelatin, but there are options to vaccinate individuals allergic to these ingredients. If you have severe allergies, talk to your doctor to find the right option for you. Rumors about the flu shot containing mercury, formaldehyde, or antifreeze are not at all substantiated.
Myth: The Flu Shot Gives You the Flu
The flu shot contains inactivated or severely weakened strains of the flu virus, which cannot actually get you sick. Instead, the body begins producing antibodies that fight the flu so that you are less likely to become ill when in contact with active flu germs.
Myth: December Is Too Late to Get the Flu Shot
It can take two weeks for the flu shot to provide effective protection from the flu, so it is best to get the flu shot early in the fall. Still, flu season is most active later in the winter, which means that immunization can be effective in December and January.
The Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at Riverside Community Hospital can provide you with answers to your questions about the flu shot and offer more prevention tips for flu season. Call us at (951) 788-3000, or visit our website for a look at our hospital services.