Every year only about half of all Americans get the flu shot. In the U.S. alone, 36,000 people die and over 200,000 end up in the hospital as a result of this virus each year. If you’ve ever had the flu, you know just how sick you can be.
Getting an annual flu shot is important, not only for your own health, but for the health of those around you, especially young children and seniors.
Common Myths About the Flu
So why doesn’t everyone get a flu shot each year? There seems to be no shortage of misinformation when it comes to dealing with the flu. Here are some facts about the most common myths about the flu.
Myth: You can catch the flu from the vaccine.
The vaccine is made from an inactivated virus that can’t transmit infection. So people who get sick after receiving a flu vaccination were going to get sick anyway. It takes a week or two to get protection from the vaccine. But people assume that because they got sick after getting the vaccine, the shot caused their illness.
Myth: Healthy people don’t need to be vaccinated.
The flu vaccine is for anyone who does not want to be sick with the flu or inadvertently spread the virus to others. For those who care for the very young and seniors getting a flu shot is important to help protect these more vulnerable groups. CDC recommends annual immunization for all people aged 6 months and older.
Myth: You don’t need to get a flu shot every year.
Since the body’s immune response to a flu vaccine declines over time and because influenza viruses are always changing, getting vaccinated each year is important to make sure you have immunity to the strains most likely to cause an illness.
Myth: I exercise and eat healthy, so I don’t need to get vaccinated.
The flu can spread when a sick person coughs, sneezes or talks, and can also be transmitted on surfaces that are touched by both sick and healthy people. Even healthy people can be infected with the flu virus without showing any symptoms.
Myth: It’s not safe to get a flu shot while I’m pregnant.
Since pregnant women experience changes to their body that may affect their immune system, lungs and heart, they are especially susceptible to getting the flu. It is highly recommended that a pregnant woman talk with her OB/GYN about getting a flu shot to protect herself and her newborn baby from flu for up to six months.
Myth: I’m afraid of needles and flu vaccines are only available in a shot.
There are options other than the standard shot. The intradermal flu shot is injected into the skin instead of the muscle and uses a much smaller needle than the regular flu shot. The nasal spray flu vaccine is administered in the nose.
MYTH: All flu vaccines contain the preservative mercury.
The majority of single-dose vials and pre-filled syringes of flu shot and the nasal spray flu vaccine do not contain mercury because they are intended to be used only once.
We are happy to answer any questions pertaining to flu shots. Please give us a call at 765-447-8700, or send me an email at [email protected].
Blackbird Clinical Services Offers Low Cost Flu Shots
It is easy and fast to get your flu shot at Blackbird Clinical Service’s office located off S.R. 26 at 2 Executive Dr., Suite D, Lafayette, IN. You can call for an appointment or just stop in. Cost for the Quadravalent vaccination is just $27. Sorry, but we don’t accept insurance for these shots.