The fall and winter season mark the beginning of flu season. Now that winter season is upon us, you must have heard about the importance of getting vaccinated against flu. Yes, you need protection from the flu with so many viruses lurking around.
You may also have heard many things about the flu vaccine, some of which you are not sure of. Here are some basic facts about flu vaccines.
Myth: The flu vaccine will not give you the flu.
Fact: Despite what many people think, this is a myth. Flu is a serious illness and you can only minimise its risk. Moreover, the flu-shot takes two weeks for the vaccine to fully kick in. In case you are exposed to the virus before the shot, you can catch the flu. Moreover, vaccine also puts you at risk of mild upper respiratory complications for a few days.
Myth: Vaccine is 100 percent safe and doesn’t have any complications.
Fact: Flu vaccine is safe, but not 100 percent safe. There can be a few symptoms or after-effects of flu-shot. The symptoms can come on quickly and can include fever, body aches, cough, sore throat, runny nose and fatigue. The serious complications of flu-shot are bronchitis, pneumonia, ear infection and sinus.
Myth: I had received flu-shot last year. So, I’m OK.
Fact: You only increase immune protection with a flu shot, the strength of which decreases over time. Flu viruses mutate every year, and you need the protection year after year because your immune system loses protection from the vaccination by the next flu season.
Myth: Those allergic to eggs can’t get a flu shot.
Fact: People with serious allergic reactions to eggs may not be allowed an influenza vaccine that has egg components. However, most people who have mild reactions to eggs can be safely given influenza vaccine. It is advised to consult your health care provider for flu shot when you have food allergies.
Myth: Those who never had the flu don’t need flu shot.
Fact: It is fortunate that you’ve never caught flu before. However, there is no surety about the future and you must protect yourself with the vaccination. You should not get vaccinated if you’re ill already. In that case, you should wait until you recover. Another time when you should talk with the health care provider about getting a flu shot is when you have a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome (a severe neurologic disorder).
Given that influenza can have serious complications and can even be fatal, it is important that you know the popular myths associated with it. Flu vaccination is important for everyone; it stops the spread of the disease and causes dangerous complications.
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