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Top Three Flu Myths
Top Three Flu Myths
Marches Henderson
Monday, September 17, 2018

1

Myth: The flu vaccine can give you the flu

Fact: The flu shot delivered via a needle contains “inactive” virus that simply cannot cause an infection. While the vaccine delivered by nasal spray contains live viruses, experts have weakened them so they cannot give you the flu.

Nonetheless, it's common to experience some symptoms unrelated to the flu virus, such as tenderness or redness in the area where you received the shot. Some people also may develop achiness, a mild fever or a runny nose.

Those who believe they came down with the flu after getting vaccinated were most likely suffering from an unrelated upper-respiratory sickness or already were infected with flu when they received the shot. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to start preventing flu.

2

Myth: It's no big deal to get the flu.

Fact: Many people use the term “flu” to refer to a cold or other respiratory illness. However, influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and death, especially for high-risk populations such as infants and the elderly.

Depending on the severity of strains, each year the flu kills anywhere from 3,000 to 49,000 people in the U.S. and sends about 200,000 to the hospital

3

Myth: I'm young and healthy, so I don't need to get the flu shot.

Fact: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, recommends that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated for the flu. That's because influenza is a contagious disease and can lead to serious illness, including pneumonia, as well as missed work or even hospitalization for otherwise healthy people.

The CDC estimates that vaccinations prevented 79,000 flu hospitalizations and 6.6 million flu-associated illnesses during the 2012-2013 influenza season.

Healthy people also can spread the virus to others who are particularly susceptible, including newborn babies, senior citizens and those with weakened immune systems.

Those who believe they came down with the flu after getting vaccinated are most likely suffering from an unrelated upper-respiratory sickness or were already infected with flu when they received the shot. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to start preventing flu.

Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.

Marvell-Elaine School District Flu Clinic is Oct. 23, 2018 for Staff and Students