Flu season is upon us, and with it comes a variety of myths about flu vaccines.
Be sure you know the truth about this deadly disease — and what you can do to prevent it!
Myth #1. Only people at “high risk” need to be vaccinated.
MYTH: While it is crucial that people at high risk of developing flu-related complications — including those with chronic medical conditions, children under the age of 5, adults ages 65 and over, and pregnant women — be vaccinated, the CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months and older gets vacccinated.
Myth #2. I don’t need a flu shot this year because I got one last year.
Every year a different virus causes the flu, and therefore a different vaccine is developed. You need a flu shot every year to protect yourself from the flu.
Myth #3. I need to wait until flu season to get the flu shot.
The best time to get a flu vaccine is right now — before flu season. The CDC recommends that people get vaccinated by the end of October. It takes approximately two weeks for vaccination to be effective, and you want to be sure you are safe well before flu season starts.
However, even if you miss this end-of-October deadline, you should still get the vaccine. Whatever you can do to reduce your chances of getting the flu is worth doing, even if it’s as late as January or February.
Myth #4. I can’t get the flu shot because I’m allergic to eggs.
Although certain flu vaccines are grown from eggs, the CDC says that people with egg allergies do not have to worry about getting a flu vaccine. You should, however, talk to your doctor about your allergy before being vaccinated.
There are very few people who should not get a flu vaccine. This group includes people who have had an allergic reaction to the flu vaccine in the past, and people who have had a rare disease called Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
If you have any question about whether you should receive the flu vaccine, check with your doctor.
Myth #5. Getting the flu vaccine guarantees that I will not get the flu.
Unfortunately, some people who have been vaccinated can still get the flu. This might be because they have been exposed to a flu virus that is different from the viruses the vaccine is designed for, because they were exposed to the flu virus before getting vaccinated or during the two-week period it takes for the vaccination to take effect, or because the flu vaccine doesn’t work the same in everyone who receives it.
Nevertheless, if you get the flu vaccine, you are less likely to get the flu — and even if you get it, you are likely to get less sick than if you had not been vaccinated.
At Hamilton Grove Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, in Hamilton, NJ, we know the truth about the flu, and work to protect our residents from the danger it presents.
Or better yet, come see for yourself: Contact us to schedule a tour by calling 609-588-5800 or by clicking here.