Top 5 Flu Shot Myths and Facts
November 06, 2018
Denver Health Debunks Common Misconceptions About Getting the Flu Shot
We are in the height of flu season and the best way to prevent the flu is to get your flu shot. We asked our care teams todebunk the top five flu shot myths.
- Myth: “The flu shot will make me sick.”
Fact: The flu shot will not make you sick. The influenza vaccine contains a virus that isn’t alive, so it cannot infect you or make you sick. If you come down with something shortly after getting the flu shot, you probably caught a totally different infection that the flu shot was not designed to prevent. If your arm or leg feels sore or you feel a little “off”, that is just your immune system getting charged up and that is a good thing!
- Myth: "If you are young and healthy – you do not need to get the flu shot."
Fact: While babies and the elderly are more likely to be hospitalized with the flu, if you are young and healthy, you can still get the illness and it can cause you to miss many days of school or work. Young, healthy people can also spread the flu to babies, the elderly, and pregnant women causing them to get extremely ill from the flu and possibly die.
- Myth: “I got a flu shot and still got the flu.”
Fact: While it is true that the flu shot does not guarantee you won’t get the flu, it does lower your risk and if you do get the flu after getting a flu shot, you will be less sick than if you didn’t receive the flu shot.
- Myth: “The flu is like a bad cold.”
Fact: Flu symptoms start similar to bad cold symptoms like sore throat, runny nose, cough, fever and body aches, but in the United States, the flu causes an average of 36,000 deaths and 200,000 hospitalizations per year, including about 100 kids each year.
- Myth: “You can catch the flu from going out in the cold weather.”
Fact: The only way to catch the flu is to be exposed to the virus. It can be transmitted when a person coughs, sneezes or talks and can also be transmitted on surfaces touched by both sick and healthy people. Hand washing is a good way to prevent the flu. Even in the first one to four days you have the virus, you may not have any symptoms and can infect others.
Flu shots are available through the end of the flu season in March at all nine Denver Health family health centers, as well as on the main campus. Family appointments are available. Walk-in flu shots are available at the Immunization and Travel clinic. To make an appointment at Denver Health to get your flu shot call 720-753-0805.