It’s time for your flu vaccination -- the perfect time to discuss some common misunderstandings.
The one I hear most: Flu shots give you flu.
That’s impossible. The serum is made from killed virus.
Your arm may be sore a day or two. The nasal spray vaccine is made from live but weakened virus- it can give you brief cold-like symptoms. But nothing to match the misery of flu. You may get a cold during the two weeks it takes to build up protective antibodies, or even flu, if you’re exposed. But it is not from the vaccines.
Next: flu vaccines don’t work. Took it, got sick anyway.
Half true- Flu vaccine is not 100% effective. It depends on how good the match is between flu strains covered in the vaccine and those that circulate. How well you respond to the vaccine also depends on the health of your immune system. Anyone with a weakened immune system does not respond as well. On average, flu vaccine is around 56% effective.
Next: I’m allergic to eggs - can’t get vaccinated.
Not totally true. Anybody with a mild egg allergy – that’s hives only – can get the shot. A new vaccine – Flublok -- is totally egg free, but it's only for adults 18 to 49.
Final myth: I’m healthy. Don’t need vaccination
Wrong. Everyone over 6 months old needs vaccination, every year. No excuses.