“The flu shot makes me sick.”
FALSE! You can’t get the flu from the vaccine.
While it’s true you can feel ill after getting the flu vaccine, you didn’t get the flu from the vaccine. The most likely reason for aches and mild symptoms is because the flu vaccine worked. It stimulates the immune system to make the appropriate antibodies, causing a bit of inflammation.
“The flu goes away on its own so I don’t need to do anything about it.”
FALSE! Always contact your doctor if you have flu-like symptoms.
Although it’s true you can recover on your own, medical treatment accelerates symptom improvement and helps prevent serious life-threatening complications and hospitalization. Also, getting a correct diagnosis helps you protect others from contracting the flu.
“I got the flu shot last year and still got the flu so I know the vaccine doesn’t work on me.”
FALSE! The vaccine is different every year and it doesn’t cover every single strain.
The flu vaccine changes because the flu virus changes year-to-year. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates which ones are going to be the worst for the year and creates vaccines based on those estimates. The flu shot can make your flu symptoms less severe even if it is not the exact same strain because it offers some cross-protection.
“I’ve never had the flu so I don’t need the shot.”
FALSE! Anyone can get the flu, anytime.
Saying you have never had the flu so you don’t need the flu shot is like saying you’ve never been in a car accident so you don’t need a seatbelt. If you’re vaccinated, you are 40–60% less likely to get the flu altogether.