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Glam: 5 Myths Doctors Want To Set Straight About The Flu Shot

By Jenn Sinrich

If you’ve ever come down with the flu, you know how grueling and miserable those two weeks can be. But if you’ve been lucky enough to avoid it all these years, you might be one of the many who misconstrue this contagious and potentially deadly disease as not that bad. However, there’s no denying the truth: The flu is serious stuff. In fact, every year in the U.S., millions of people get sick, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized, and tens of thousands die from flu.

“In the 2017-2018 flu season alone, almost 80,000 people died from flu and flu-related complications and about 180 of them were children — most of whom were unvaccinated,” says Kathy Neuzil, MD, director of the Center for Vaccine Development at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and NFID Board member.

The single best way to prevent the flu? Get a flu shot every year. Yet, despite the staggering stats above, about half of Americans choose not to get vaccinated, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

So, to set the record straight, we asked experts to unveil the biggest flu shot myths.

Myth: The flu shot can give you the flu

You’ve probably heard someone say that getting the flu shot actually gave them the flu. Impossible! “The virus used in the shot is killed so it generates immune response,” explains Mary Anne Jackson, MD, Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Mercy-Kansas City. While it’s true that you may get a sore arm from the vaccine, it’s not going to give you systemic symptoms like high fevers, a cough or vomiting. “If you get influenza within a day of vaccine, it’s because it takes two weeks for the immune response for those 9 years old and older, and two vaccines 28 days apart are needed in those younger, plus two weeks for response,” she adds.


Read the full list via Glam

Learn more about the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children's Mercy