Influenza (flu) vaccines are a safe and effective way to help people stay healthy, prevent illness and even save lives. The influenza virus can cause serious illness and even death in people with certain chronic health conditions. Many people use the term flu to refer to any illness caused by a virus, such as stomach flu or the common cold. However, the influenza virus causes illness that tends to be more severe than these viruses.
Here you will find common myths and facts about influenza and influenza immunization.
MYTH: The Flu Isn’t So Bad.
Fact: The flu can lead to serious illness, even in otherwise healthy people. At the very least, it can keep you out of work for several days.
MYTH: The Flu Vaccine Will Make You Sick.
Fact: The flu vaccine cannot give you the flu. You may feel mild side effects, such as a sore arm, low fever or achiness.
MYTH: It’s Too Late in the Season to Get Protection from the Flu.
Fact: As long as flu season isn’t over, it’s not too late to get vaccinated. Flu season can last from fall until late spring.
MYTH: The Discomfort of Getting a Shot Isn’t Worth It.
Fact: The minor pain of a flu shot is nothing compared to suffering from the flu. Plus, you may be eligible to receive a nasal-spray vaccine in lieu of a shot. Ask your doctor if that is the right option for you.
MYTH: If You Got the Vaccine Last Year, You Don’t Need Another One.
Fact: Research shows that your body’s immunity from the flu vaccine declines throughout the year, so you likely don’t have enough immunity left to protect against the flu. You should get vaccinated each year.
MYTH: The Vaccine Isn’t Safe.
Fact: Flu vaccines have been given for more than 50 years and have a very good safety track record. Their safety is closely monitored each year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.