Flu Shot Myths

Flu ShotIt’s flu season! Catching the flu is common during the winter months, particularly for people who haven’t been vaccinated. Getting the flu shot or the nasal spray/vaccine is the most effective way of protecting yourself against the flu. Despite all of the efforts to increase the public’s awareness about the flu, many myths still exist. Here are just a few of them:

  • Myth #1: The flu shot makes you sick. Wrong. Receiving the vaccine won’t make you sick. A sore arm in the location of the shot is probably the only side effect you’ll have. If you have a cold or flu that is more than mild, wait to take the shot; not because it would be harmful, but it could be less effective.
  • Myth #2: You don’t need to get the flu shot more than once. Wrong. The flu shot isn’t like other vaccines. You need to get a flu shot every year.
  • Myth #3: You can catch the flu from animals and food. Wrong. The only way you can catch the flu is by coming in contact with someone who has it, or by sharing objects (such as a cup) with someone who has flu germs. Foods are flu-free!
  • Myth #4: The flu shot is very painful! From my personal experience and what I have heard from my friends, the flu shot hurts or stings a little bit when it goes in, but it only lasts a couple of seconds. The day I got my flu shot, my arm was a little sore but it wasn’t horrible, and then the pain went away. I think being sick with the flu for a week or longer is much worse.
  • Myth #5: The best way to protect yourself from the flu is to eat lemons. Although lemons and other citrus fruits such as oranges are high in vitamin C which can help your immune system, the very best way to lessen the chance of getting the flu is to get vaccinated. The next best thing is to wash your hands frequently.
  • Myth #6: Only adults should get vaccinated against the flu. Wrong. Anyone, at any age can get the flu. Children can get the flu shot as early as 6 months of age. You can get vaccinated at your health care provider’s office, at some schools and pharmacies.