Debunking Flu Shot Myths

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by MinuteClinic.

My husband never wants to get a flu shot. He says he doesn’t need one. When I press him, he says he will get the flu after getting a flu shot. Of course, he’s not the only one who believes this. In fact, many people claim they will get (or have gotten) the flu after getting a flu shot. The reality, though, is that this just isn’t true. Sadly, it’s not the only falsehood surrounding flu shots.

Flu Shot | All Things LifestyleMYTH: I’ll get the flu if I get a flu shot.
TRUTH: Because the flu vaccine is created using an inactivated, or dead, virus, you cannot get the flu from the vaccine. If you get flu-like symptoms after getting a flu shot, you probably were already exposed to the flu before the vaccine had time to take effect, which could take up to two weeks.

MYTH: I got a flu shot last year. I don’t need another one.
TRUTH: Every year, a new flu vaccine is created in an effort to combat the strains experts expect to be prevalent for the coming season. Therefore, a flu shot from the past may not be effective.

MYTH: Flu season doesn’t start until winter arrives. I’ll wait and see if I really need a flu shot then.
TRUTH: There’s no set start to flu season, but outbreaks have been reported as early as October. Because it takes up to two weeks for the flu vaccine to be effective, you should get a flu shot as soon as they become available, generally the end of September or start of October.

While the flu shot is the best way to avoid getting the flu, it’s not the only path to prevention. MinuteClinic recommends these daily tips to stay healthy and prevent cold and flu.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often, especially after you cough or sneeze.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze, and discard the tissue in the trash. Sneeze into your sleeve if a tissue is not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth since germs can spread easily that way.
  • Avoid contact with those who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home from school or work to help others from getting infected.
  • Disinfect surfaces using products that kill household germs. Thoroughly wipe down handles, faucets and other surfaces you touch often.
  • If you suspect you have the flu, seek medical treatment right away. Early flu treatment (within 72 hours of exposure) has been proven to reduce the length and severity of illness.

flu shot | All Things Lifestyle For me, getting the flu shot is a no-brainer. With all of the medical advancements made through the years, why not take advantage of something so effective and so affordable to avoid the flu? And although my husband may disagree, he did finally get his flu shot along with our two children and me at our local MinuteClinic. Now we’re looking forward to a healthy fall and winter!

To learn more about the flu, how to keep yourself and your family healthy, and what to do if you do get sick, visit the CDC’s flu site and learn more about MinuteClinic’s vaccination offerings.

Disclosure: Karon received compensation and vouchers for her family to receive free flu shots at MinuteClinic. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein belong solely to the author.

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