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What you 'know' about the flu shot might not be true

Scratch gives a thumbs-up after receiving his flu shot.
Blog

/ by UK HealthCare

Have you had your flu shot yet? Getting vaccinated is far and away the best way to make sure you – and those around you – stay healthy.
 
One reason for the decline may be misconceptions about the shots and why people need them.
 
Let’s break down fact from fiction:

Myth: The flu shot will give me the flu.

Truth: The flu shot will not give you the flu. The vaccine does not use a live virus; rather, it uses a killed or inactivated virus that cannot make you sick.

Myth: If I feel sick after getting the shot, then that means I have the flu.

Truth: You might experience some side effects, such as achiness, after getting a flu shot because your immune system is reacting and learning how to fight the virus. These side effects do not mean you have the flu.   

It is possible that you could catch the flu before the vaccine has had enough time to build up the antibodies that protect you from the virus. The flu vaccine usually takes about two weeks before becoming a shield against the disease.

The flu isn’t the only illness circulating this time of year. You should still be cautious and maintain healthy habits such as washing your hands regularly to help prevent other sicknesses.

Myth: The flu shot isn’t 100 percent effective, so I don’t need it.

Truth: Because the flu virus changes each year, scientists have to develop a new vaccine each year as well. Scientists predict which virus will most likely circulate during the upcoming flu season, and they develop a highly effective vaccine based on this calculated prediction.

Myth: Even if I do get the flu, it’s not that serious.

Truth: The flu can be deadly. Last year, more than 900,000 people were hospitalized with the flu, and around 80,000 people died from the disease. In total, more than 49 million people fell sick to the flu in 2017.

Remember that the flu vaccine doesn’t just protect you – it also protects those with weakened immune systems, including children and the elderly.

 

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