Stapleton Pediatrics Blog

Flu Vaccine Myths and Facts

by Brandon Davison-Tracy, MD

It’s almost October, the beginning of flu season. Some people are reluctant to get the flu vaccine for their children and themselves since there are many misconceptions about the vaccine and whether or not it is safe. Let’s set the record straight.
MYTH: The flu vaccine gives you the flu.
FACT:   A flu shot cannot cause flu. When you receive a vaccine that is made with the flu virus, the virus is completely inactivated and not infectious. The most common side affects of the flu vaccine are soreness, tenderness, and swelling or redness at the injection site. Some may also experience a low-grade fever, headache or muscle aches.
MYTH: The nasal spray flu vaccine is not as good as the shot and might even give you the flu.
FACT: The nasal spray flu vaccine is completely safe and just as effective as the shot. The viruses in the nasal spray are weakened and cannot cause flu. Common side affects are runny nose, congestion and cough.
MYTH: It is better to just get the flu than take the vaccine.
FACT: Flu is a serious disease, especially among children, the elderly and those with certain chronic health conditions. We strongly recommend everyone over the age of 6 months to get the flu vaccine.  
MYTH: It’s too late to get the vaccine in November or December.
FACT: While it is best to receive the vaccine in September or October when flu season begins, vaccination is still beneficial as long as the virus is circulating. The flu season usually peaks in January or February, but it can last until May. You can still see benefits from the vaccine if you receive it later in the season.
Stapleton Pediatrics will be offering our Flu Clinic again this year on Saturday mornings and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. Always feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.
Posted: 9/22/2014 12:00:00 AM by | with 0 comments
Filed under: flu, flumist, flushot, illness, immunization, medications, prevention, vaccine

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