Debunking Flu Vaccine Myths
It is that time of year again! Many people skip getting the flu vaccine because they have gotten incorrect information. Because of this, I’m going to beak down three popular myths for you.
Myth #1 – “The Flu Vaccine will make me sick”
Not true. The flu vaccine is not a live virus. It is dead virus that cannot multiply. (A dead virus cannot make you sick!)
Think of your body’s immune system as an army whose mission it is to seek out and destroy organisms that want to make you sick. On the other hand, the vaccine is like a mug shot. This mug shot gives your immune army a “picture” of exactly what the flu virus looks like. If the live virus does get into your body, your immune army can easily recognize it, seek it out, and destroy all copies of the virus before it can make you sick.
Myth #2 – “If I get the Flu Vaccine, I won’t get sick this winter”
Not entirely true. The vaccine provides protection from certain strains of the flu. There are several variations of the flu vaccine but the most common ones are the Trivalent vaccine and the Quadrivalent vaccine.
The Trivalent vaccine protects against 3 strains of flu:
- 2 typ
- Michigan H1N1
- Hong Kong H3N2
The Quadrivalent vaccine protects against 4 strains. It includes the same strains as the Trivalent vaccine, with the addition of a second type B (Phuket). These are the strains of respiratory flu that have been determined to be the most dangerous.
With that said, even after getting your vaccine, you are not bullet proof. You can still get other infections like colds, bacterial infections and the “stomach flu”. So it is still a good idea to wash your hands and don’t share food and drinks, just like your mama taught you.
Myth #3 – “I’m healthy, I don’t need a flu vaccine”
Well you may be healthy but do you really have a few weeks at the busiest time of the year to spend in bed feeling miserable? You may be a healthy person, but do you go out in public with people who may not be so healthy? Babies, older adults, people undergoing chemotherapy… You don’t know the health of everyone around you at school, the grocery store, or even on a plane. When more people get the vaccine, there is much less of a chance of having an outbreak in your community. You are not only protecting yourself, you are protecting everyone around you!
For more information please visit the CDC website.