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Flu Myths


Marilyn Babineau, Manager, Workforce Wellness, Horizon Health Network 

Flu season is here! Horizon wants you to protect yourself and your family by getting the flu shot. But if you're still on the fence about getting yours, here are the answers to a few common flu myths that might change your mind:

Flu Myth #1: You can catch the flu from the flu vaccine.               

This is a common misconception. Flu vaccines can't cause the flu. Flu vaccines are made with inactive flu viruses that are no longer infectious and are designed to produce an immune response without causing infection.

Flu Myth #2: It's better to catch the flu than get the flu vaccine.

False. The flu can be a serious illness, especially among children, older adults, and people with certain chronic health conditions, such as asthma, heart disease or diabetes. Any flu infection can carry a risk of serious complications, hospitalization or death, even among otherwise healthy children and adults.

Flu Myth #3: You don't need to get the flu shot every year.

Yes you do! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly flu vaccine for just about everyone 6 months or older, even when the viruses the vaccine protects against have not changed from the previous season. A person's immune protection from vaccination declines over time, so a yearly flu shot is needed to protect against the flu.

Flu Myth #4: Flu shots cause serious allergic reactions.

Serious allergic reactions to flu vaccines are very rare. If they do occur, it is usually within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination, and effective treatments are available.

Flu Myth #5: You can be so healthy that you don't need the vaccine.

While it's true that a younger and healthier person is not as high risk as seniors, young children or people living with chronic health conditions, that person can still catch the flu. The more people who get the vaccine means there is a lesser chance for a widespread outbreak.

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