Flu Facts & Prevention

cough-sneeze-maskMYTH: I don’t get sick. I don’t need to get the flu vaccine.FACT: Just because someone has not had the flu in the past doesn’t mean they won’t get the flu in the future. CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for just about everyone 6 months and older, even when the viruses the vaccine protects against have not changed from the previous season. The reason for this is that a person’s immune protection from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccination is needed to get the “optimal” or best protection against the flu. Getting vaccinated for the flu will also help to not pass the virus to people around you, including those who are more likely to get flu complications that can result in hospitalization and sometimes death.
MYTH: It is not safe for pregnant women to get vaccinated for the flu.
FACT: Getting a flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against flu. Pregnant women should get a flu shot and not the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), also known as nasal spray flu vaccine. Flu vaccines given during pregnancy help protect both the mother and her baby from flu. Vaccination has been shown to reduce the risk of flu-associated acute respiratory infection in pregnant women by up to one-half

Fight-Flu-Consumer-300x250MYTH: I’ve gotten the flu after getting a flu shot.FACT: The flu vaccine cannot cause the flu illness. Flu vaccines given with a needle (i.e., flu shots) are currently made in two ways: the vaccine is made either with a) flu viruses that have been ‘inactivated’ (killed) and that therefore are not infectious, or b) using only a single gene from a flu virus (as opposed to the full virus) in order to produce an immune response without causing infection.

MYTH: The flu isn’t a serious illness. We have overblown the problem.FACT. Most people who get flu will recover in a few days to less than two weeks, but some people will develop complications (such as pneumonia) as a result of flu, some of which can be life-threatening and result in death.