It’s flu season. Even though it comes around every year, there is still a lot you might not know about the flu. Some things you may think you know but actually are common misconceptions. Here are some of the most popular myths about the flu and flu shots along with the truth behind them.
Getting a flu shot will give you the flu.
This is probably the most widespread lie about flu vaccines. It developed from the fact that vaccines are made of dead or weakened flu viruses. This allows your body to create antibodies against the disease without actually getting sick.
If you or someone you know feels unwell after getting a flu shot, this is just a side effect, not the flu. According to the CDC, common flu shot side effects include soreness, redness, tenderness, or swelling at the shot location, low-grade fever, headache, and muscle aches.
It’s better to just get sick than get a flu shot.
The flu can be a serious illness, so it is always better to develop immunity from being vaccinated rather than from getting sick. Complications from the flu are most common in young children, the elderly, and the immunocompromised.
The flu is the same as a common cold or the stomach flu.
The flu and the cold are both respiratory viruses, but they are different viruses. The flu is more serious and has more intense symptoms. Having a stuffy or runny nose is not as common with the flu as with a cold.
Some people call being nauseous and throwing up the “stomach flu,” but this illness is not the flu. The flu is a respiratory virus with symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, and fatigue.
You don’t need a new vaccine every flu season.
Flu shots wear off overtime, so getting vaccinated before every flu season gives you the best chance at staying healthy. There are also many different strains and variations of the flu. The flu shot is updated each year to reflect the types of viruses most common that flu season. This is why you should get a flu shot every year.
Getting vaccinated won’t actually prevent you from getting the flu.
Flu shots are effective in preventing illness. If someone were to get their flu shot and still get the flu, it is likely from a different strain of the virus than the ones the vaccine was fighting against. Even so, getting a flu shot can help lessen the symptoms of all varieties of the flu. Being less sick is still better than bearing the full force of the disease.
Another possibility is that you were already sick when you got your flu shot but didn’t know it yet. It takes time for symptoms to appear after being exposed to the flu. Flu-like symptoms can also be caused by a similar illness like rhinovirus or the cold.
I don’t need to get a flu shot because I never get sick.
The CDC recommends that everyone at least six months of age get a flu shot unless they are allergic. Even if you do not regularly get sick, getting vaccinated can help keep others healthy, as you won’t be spreading germs to them.
Where can I get a flu shot?
If you’re looking to get vaccinated this flu season, look no further than BASS Urgent Care. They provide flu shots, diagnosis and treatment of the flu as well as many other services. Call (925) 267-7800 to schedule an appointment, or just walk in any weekday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.