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Flu Vaccine Misconceptions

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Posted on Dec 06, 2018

By Julia Vann

With flu season approaching, it’s now more important than ever to get the flu vaccine. However, according CNBC, less and less people have been getting the flu shot every year. It’s time to look at the reasons why and the misconceptions associated with them.

Misconception 1

A lot of people assume that the flu vaccine doesn’t work, and it’s not hard to see why. Anyone who’s gotten the vaccine and gotten sick anyway can attest to this. However, the science behind the flu vaccine is a lot more complicated than just ‘working’ or ‘not working.’ The flu undergoes constant mutation, meaning, it’s always changing as a virus. Doctors and scientists do their best to guess which strains will be the most active during flu season, but they’re not psychic. Even if they guess completely correctly, by the time it reaches you, it already could’ve mutated and gotten you sick.

But don’t panic! The flu vaccine still lessens your chances of catching it and, more importantly, it lessens the severity of the illness. So even if you still catch the flu, it won’t affect you as badly.

Misconception 2

Another common misconception is that the vaccine will just give you the flu. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Inactive pathogens fill the vaccine. The point is to give your immune system a chance to learn to fight against the flu without any actual danger. Of course, there are extremely rare cases of a vaccine giving someone the disease, but it’s very uncommon. Anyone who experiences this phenomenon would certainly know if that was a possibility for them by now. So if that’s never happened to you, then don’t sweat it. Go ahead and get the vaccine.

Misconception 3

A final misconception about the flu vaccine is that if you’re young and healthy, you don’t need the vaccine. You’ll be fine if you get the flu, since your body will just fight it off. While it’s true that the elderly and very young are more susceptible to serious flu-related illness or death, it’s still possible to impact perfectly healthy adults. And even if it doesn’t, there’s something called herd immunity.

The more people who receive vaccinations, the safer everyone is. It protects those who cannot have vaccinations, whether due to autoimmune diseases or allergies. Those people rely on others to get their vaccinations. In addition, a vaccine can mean the difference between whether or not you spread the disease to others. You might be able to fight off the flu, but can you say the same for the sick, the young, or the elderly?

At the end of the day, it’s just better to go ahead and get vaccinated. That’s the first step to a safer, healthier world.

To learn more about recent healthcare news, visit the American Medical Compliance website.

LaVito, Angelica. “Here Are Some Reasons Why People Don’t Get the Flu Shot – and Why They’re Wrong.” CNBC, CNBC, 2 Nov. 2018, www.cnbc.com/2018/11/02/heres-why-people-dont-get-a-flu-shot-and-why-you-should.html.