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7 Myths of Flu

Laura JORDHEN, Family Medicine Physician

You may have heard some of the myths about influenza (and other) vaccinations, but read on ahead for some good advice on how vaccines keep you and your family healthy.

Myths of Influenza Vaccinations

Influenza vaccination causes influenza

The injectable vaccination is not a live virus, so you can’t get influenza from it. You can get a mild fever, which is a sign your immune system is working. Influenza vaccination is given at a time of year when many people are getting colds and coughs. Some will certainly get the common cold after they get their influenza vaccination.

2 I never got influenza before, so I don’t need vaccination

I never got in a car accident before, but I do wear my seatbelt.

3 Vaccinations are harmful for the immune system

It would take 10000 vaccines at the same time to temporarily use up all your body’s ability to fight of foreign bacteria and viruses. Your body is constantly reacting to the germs on your hands, the germs in the food you eat, and the germs your kids are sharing with you, and can handle all of that at the same time.

4 Flu vaccination is ineffective

Did you know influenza vaccination can reduce the risk of death and serious complications in the elderly by 70-85%? Influenza vaccination doesn’t prevent the common cold though, so many people still have coughs and sniffles.

5 Influenza vaccination can cause serious side effects

The risk of Guillain Barre syndrome, a serious neurologic illness—can happen after vaccination, with a risk of one or two cases per million people vaccinated. This is far lower than the risk of getting the same syndrome following Influenza infection!

6 Natural immunity is better than vaccine induced immunity

Vaccine induced immunity can be as strong as natural immunity in most cases, and is a lot more pleasant to acquire!

7 I don’t get very sick from Influenza

True, you may only miss a week of work or school, but you could spread the disease to someone who could get much more ill. Getting vaccinated is a way to take care of the young and elderly people you love.