In my daily practice at Primary Care Associates, I get asked many questions about the flu and the flu vaccine. Despite improved access to accurate, responsible information in the media and on the web, a number of myths about the flu and the vaccine still exist. So here it is, point-by-point, information for you to make informed choices for your healthcare.
Myth #1: The flu vaccine gives you the flu
Facts: The vaccine, including this year’s version, consists of a dead virus which cannot infect you. What it can do is make your body produce the antibodies necessary to fight that virus if you come in contact with a live version of it. The live virus is included in the Flu Mist – a nasal spray, not an injection – but it is engineered so that it will not make you sick.
Myth #2: If you weren’t vaccinated by November, there’s no point in getting it now
Facts: While we are seeing a large number of cases right now, the flu often doesn’t hit its peak until February or even March. And while it does take two weeks to be fully effective, the vaccine will help lessen the severity if you do get the flu.