The Truth Behind Common Flu Myths

Boy getting vaccinationIt can be hard to sort the good from the bad when it comes to all of the flu information out there.
Check out this brief list of myths and facts for what's true about the flu.

MYTH: You can get the flu from the flu shot.

TRUTH: It's impossible to get the flu from a flu shot because the viruses in the shot are killed. They can't cause disease. (The nasal mist is a little different; the viruses in the nasal spray are weakened but not dead. Those who get the nasal spray may get a mild sore throat or headache after vaccination. They will not, however, get the full-blown flu.)

MYTH: I can't get my seasonal flu shot because supplies have run out.

TRUTH: There will be plenty of seasonal-flu vaccine for all who want to be vaccinated. The vaccine will come to communities in batches, as manufacturers are able to produce and distribute them. Supplies may be tight on occasion but we expect everyone to be able to get a seasonal-flu shot before the flu season hits in Wisconsin.

MYTH: I'm young and healthy and never get very sick from the flu, so I don't need a shot.

TRUTH: As with seasonal flu, most people who get H1N1 will have a mild illness, need only self-care measures like plenty of rest and fluids, and will recover within two weeks. However, the experience with H1N1 to date shows that it seems to hit young adults particularly hard. That is atypical in that seasonal flu seems to hit the very young and the very old most severely. In addition, getting vaccinated can prevent you for transmitting the disease to others.

MYTH: The H1N1 vaccine isn't safe.

TRUTH: The H1N1 vaccine is produced in the same facilities and under the same processes that regular seasonal-flu vaccine has been for years. In addition, the Kaiser Family Foundation reports that nearly 40,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine have already been administered this year in China, and only four recipients reported any side effects at all – and they consisted of headache and mild muscle cramps.