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4 Common Flu Vaccine Myths We Need To Set Straight

MYTH 1: The flu vaccine gives you the flu.

FIRST: It is important to note that you should always listen to your body. Pay attention if you think something is wrong. If you feel sick or experience any symptoms after getting a flu shot, talk to a doctor. 

This is perhaps one of the most widespread myths about the flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is not giving your immune system any real, active versions of the flu virus. A flu shot has either an inactive version of the virus or a single gene from the virus that won’t cause an infection. 

In other words, we can effectively teach your immune system to ward off the flu without putting it in any real danger of getting the flu.

That doesn’t mean the flu shot is symptom-free. The injection site might be tender, sore, or even swell. This is a common response to the shot. According to the CDC, some people may experience a low-grade fever, headache, or muscle aches within one to two days of getting a shot. 

Rare allergic reactions can occur with a few minutes of receiving the vaccine. 

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If you feel any side effects, it is always a good idea to talk to a doctor. Prime Care offers affordable medical care and accepts walk-in patients. Our goal is to make health convenient, If you have any concerns about your flu vaccine, stop by one of our convenient locations. 

MYTH 2: Flu vaccines aren’t necessary every year. 

Many people assume the occasional flu shot is enough protection from the flu. However, the protection the flu shot gives you becomes less effective over time. 

To get the best protection from the flu, get your flu vaccine once a year. According to the CDC, this applies to most of the population that are 6 months or older — ask your doctor if you think you may be an exception. 

If you take double flu shots does that mean you are twice as protected from the flu? Some people with chronic conditions or diseases are more vulnerable to the flu. Do they need added protection? According to the CDC, no. Your immune system only needs one shot to build up defenses against the flu. 

However, there are measures you can take to give your immune system a little boost. Even with the flu shot to protect you, you should take precautions to avoid catching the virus. The simple things like being careful around those who are infected and washing your hands often are key in keeping your body safe. 

MYTH 3: The flu is just a bad bout of a common cold. 

FIRST: This is important to remember when you have a common cold. You know your own body and how you feel. But you don’t have the means of determining if you are fighting the flu or a bad cold. Let a doctor know all the specifics of your condition. 

Both are caused by viruses. However, knowing the difference is crucial. According to the CDC, the flu presents with more intense symptoms than the common cold. A common cold usually does not cause any serious health problems. The flu, however, puts many people in the hospital every year. 

The flu can cause a number of serious health conditions. Complications of the flu can lead to pneumonia, bacterial infections, and more. 

Here is a helpful infographic from the CDC. 

MYTH 4: Healthy people don’t need to get a flu vaccine. 

Healthy people have an extra incentive to get the flu shot. You’ve worked hard and made good choices to get where you are at. Get the flu vaccine to protect your investment. 

Just not feeling sick? According to the CDC, 20% of people who are infected have no symptoms. You could be exposing your loved ones to the flu without knowing. Protect your health and the health of those around you.