If you’re on the fence about whether to get vaccinated, read on. A lot of people give lots of reasons for skipping the shot. Most reasons are based on a few popular and enduring myths like these:
Myth: I got a flu shot last year.
Fact: The flu virus constantly changes, so last year’s flu shot won’t protect you against this year’s virus. That’s why it’s important to get vaccinated annually. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu shot for everyone age 6 months and older.
Myth: I’m healthy, so I don’t need one.
Fact: The flu can strike anyone, regardless of health status. And while you may be healthy, think about the elderly and young children you come in contact with. By getting vaccinated, you’re protecting yourself and those around you who might be vulnerable to the flu and its complications. People with the flu are most contagious in the first three to four days of when illness begins, so if you do get it, you could pass it along to others before you even know you’re sick.
Myth: The flu shot can give you the flu.
This is one of the most persistent myths out there, but it’s not possible to catch the flu from the shot. That’s because the vaccine is made from the inactivated flu virus, which can’t infect you. You may get a sore arm or temporary low-grade fever after your shot, but you won’t get the flu from it.
Myth: I’m pregnant, so I can’t get a flu shot.
The CDC recommends a vaccination for all pregnant women, which can also protect the baby from the flu for months after delivery. Since babies younger than six months old can’t get flu shots of their own, a flu shot during pregnancy is especially important.
Myth: I still got the flu even though I was vaccinated.
The flu shot is your best form of protection, but it’s not perfect. It’s designed to work against certain strains of virus, and those strains can change. It also takes the shot about two weeks to kick in. But even if getting vaccinated doesn’t prevent you from getting the flu altogether, it may lessen its impact and reduce your sick time.
Myth: I waited too long, and now it’s too late to get a shot.
It’s true that the best time to get vaccinated is by the end of October, but you can still protect yourself if you get vaccinated after that. Even January isn’t too late if the flu is still active in your community. Getting a shot late is better than not getting it at all.
Myth: I’m allergic to eggs, so I can’t get a shot.
Most flu vaccines contain a small amount of egg proteins, which led to the myth that people with egg allergies shouldn’t be vaccinated. If this is a concern, ask your doctor about whether an egg-free flu vaccine is available.
Get a flu shot! It’s your single best defense against the flu.
The free flu shot clinics are over, but the ParTNers Center still has flu shots. Call us at 615-741-1709 for a shot appointment. We’ll have you in and out in a jiffy.
Fight the flu
In addition to getting vaccinated, there are other things you can do to fight against the flu:
Stay home when you’re sick.
Cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze.
Wash sick peoples’ laundry separate from other items.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Clean surfaces regularly with a strong disinfectant.
Wash your hands with soap and hot water.
If you don’t have access to soap, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.