Tags: flu | vaccine | myths | side effects | immunity

Common Myths About the Flu Vaccine

An arm with sleeve rolled up getting the flu vaccine
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Thursday, 27 October 2022 09:02 AM EDT

Experts predict that the 2022-2023 flu season will be severe. The flu has been mild since the pandemic began since most people were adhering to protective measures, such as wearing masks and social distancing when indoors in public places. But now that these measures have been largely lifted and we have less population immunity, we can expect a robust return of the flu, says the Mayo Clinic.

Getting your flu vaccine is a simple way to protect yourself against influenza so that you are not one of the 11% of Americans who contract this potentially serious virus each year. Yet many people don’t get vaccinated because they share inaccurate beliefs about the shot. Don’t be misled by the following myths:

The flu isn’t that serious. According to Livestrong, each year about 25 million people get sick from the flu, and between 12,000 and 52,000 people have died from the virus annually since 2010. While people over the age of 65 are especially vulnerable to serious complications from the flu, others with chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, and heart disease, as well as children under the age of five, are at increased risk for severity.

I’ve never had the flu, so I don’t need a vaccine this year. Some people do not show symptoms of the flu even though they are ill and can transmit the virus to others — another reason to get the jab. Dr. Philip Robinson, medical director of infection prevention at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, California says, “I’ve never been in an automobile accident, but I still wear my seat belt just in case. I have seen patients who ‘never get the flu’ end up in an intensive care unit on a breathing machine fighting for their lives. This could have been prevented with the vaccine.”

The flu vaccine will give me the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a flu vaccine cannot cause flu illness. Flu shots are either made with a virus that has been inactivated or with proteins from a flu virus, which do not trigger flu illness. The nasal spray vaccine is made with weakened live flu viruses and can’t cause the flu because they only reproduce in warmer areas, such as the lungs. The CDC acknowledges that the vaccine may cause minor side effects, such as soreness at the injection site, headaches, fever, and muscle aches.  Symptoms are unlikely to last more than 48 to 72 hours.

I got the vaccine and then I got the flu. This doesn’t mean the vaccines don’t work, says Livestrong. There are many different strains of the flu virus each year. Surface proteins go through changes accordingly so you may become infected with a new, unanticipated variant that is not covered by the vaccine you took. Also, while you still may get the flu despite getting vaccinated, your illness may be less severe.

I take vitamin C and zinc to boost my immunity naturally, so I don’t need the vaccine. Dr. Bilal Naseer, a California-based infectious disease specialist tells Livestrong that supplementing with these nutrients may affect cold symptoms, but the cold and flu are two different illnesses. Plus, a flu vaccine offers far superior protection than any nutritional measures, he adds. If you still want to boost your immunity after getting the flu vaccine, eat a healthy diet get a good night’s sleep.

 “You’re better off just focusing on good health practices and making sure that your nutrition is adequate and balanced and that you’re getting adequate sleep,” he says. “If you have a well-balanced diet you will get plenty of vitamin C and zinc.”

© 2024 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.


Health-News
Experts predict that the 2022-2023 flu season will be severe. The flu has been mild since the pandemic began since most people were adhering to protective measures, such as wearing masks and social distancing when indoors in public places. But now that these measures have...
flu, vaccine, myths, side effects, immunity
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2022-02-27
Thursday, 27 October 2022 09:02 AM
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