Myths about flu shots debunked

Myths about flu shots debunked

Knowledge is power...

Doctor doing injection to patient
Doctor doing injection to patient / iStock

In winter, many people get sick with flu. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that 'there are around a billion cases of seasonal influenza annually, including 3–5 million cases of severe illness'.

It adds that influenza 'causes 290 000 to 650 000 respiratory deaths annually'.

With flu affecting so many people annually, this is why it is important to get the flu vaccine.

But even though the flu shot has many benefits, several myths can result in people not getting vaccinated.

Let's look at some of them: 

Flu vaccine prevents flu 

You can still get the flu even when you are vaccinated, although the vaccine will lower your chances of being severely sick. 

READ: Change of season: Boost your immune system to lower chances of getting sick 

A 2021 study quoted in the CDC 'showed that among adults hospitalised with flu, vaccinated patients had a 26% lower risk of intensive care unit (ICU) admission and a 31% lower risk of death from flu compared with those who were unvaccinated'.

The WHO states that 'several flu viruses are circulating all the time, which is why people may still get the flu despite being vaccinated since the vaccine is specific to one strain.'

READ: Change of season: Boost your immune system to lower chances of getting sick 

The vaccine will give you the flu

One of the common myths is that flu shots give you the flu or cause you to suffer flu symptoms. 

This isn't true. Flu vaccines don't give you flu. You might experience a few flu-like symptoms, but those will last only a day or two. 

The WHO states that 'the injected flu vaccine contains an inactivated virus that cannot give you influenza'.

Pregnant women should not get vaccinated 

Pregnant women are sometimes scared of getting vaccinated, but the WHO states that 'pregnant women should especially get the flu vaccine since their immune systems are weaker than usual. The inactivated flu vaccine is safe at any stage of pregnancy'.

READ: Ways to keep your child healthy in winter 

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