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Five Myths about the Flu Vaccine

Updated on October 25, 2015
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There are millions of people who purposefully elect to not get the flu vaccine every year and in turn, some experts would argue that in fact by default of this decision, they also elect to increase their risk and that of others of getting the flu.

If you ask why some skeptics why it is that they choose to not get the vaccine, some will simply admit they would prefer to not get the shot. However, others will give you excuses that translate to more of that of myths associates with getting the vaccine.

Here are a few favorite myths why some folks say they prefer to not get the flu vaccine.

Its Better to Build Immunity

The first reason or myth cited is that some individuals would rather allow nature to take its course and risk getting the flu. By allowing themselves to catch the flu, the theory is that their body will eventually build immunity and this will far better protect them from catching the flu in the future. Keep in mind that while your body might build some degree of immunity, the immunity built will only be for that particular strain of the flu and it may not be building immunity for the actual strain of flu for which vaccinations will be administered. The other risk in making this assumption is that you will be protected from catching the flu virus at all for the entire season. Actually, your immunity to the flu will be limited and your risk for acquiring the flu will return within a few weeks. Imagine that!

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The Flu Vaccine will Cause Me to Get the Flu

This is a favorited myth and statement made by many. "Every time I get the flu vaccine, I catch the flu." In fact, more than 43% of Americans believe this statement.

It is highly likely that if you manage to catch the flu within a week or two of being vaccinated that you were either already exposed to the flu virus prior to the vaccination, that perhaps you even acquired a different strain of the flu virus or worse, as seen in some previous years, the vaccine you received was not effective or strong enough to ward off the flu.

The Flu Shot is Expensive

Another myth is that the flu shot is expensive. Your health is a worthy investment and many insurance companies pay for the flu vaccine or employers may even provide vouchers to their employees so that they can get a flu shot. Some will even set up flu vaccine clinics where you can go in onsite and allow a nurse to administer the shot.

After all, what company wants their employees to catch the flu and/or risk spreading the flu to their workers, ultimately affecting productivity in the workplace? However, if you are among the unlucky few whose vaccine is not covered, the cost ranges $30.00-$40.00.

I Don't Have Time for the Flu Shot

I don't have time to get the flu vaccine. We all have time to get the vaccine. The good news is that if you don't have time to get it at your physician's office, you can go into a local retailer to get your vaccination. It typically takes 3-5 minutes to get the vaccine.

You'll spend more time standing in line than getting the actual injection.

I'm Healthy. I Don't Need the Flu Shot

You may be the picture of fitness and health but that unfortunately, does not change the fact that you do need the added protection of the flu vaccine. This is a virus that we're all susceptible to catching.

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More about the Flu Vaccine

According to the Centers for Disease Control, it takes upwards of two weeks after receiving the vaccination for your body to be fully protected from the virus so, as we move into the Fall/Winter season, it is imperative not to delay your decision.

Who Should Get the Flu Vaccine?

At the end of the day, it is recommended that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated each year. However, there are several groups of high risk individuals who especially should make an effort to get an injection and they include (but in no ways are limited to):

  • Adults 65 and older
  • Pregnant Women
  • Those who suffer from Asthma
  • Those who suffer from COPD
  • Heart Disease
  • Kidney or Liver Disorders

Nasal Spray or Flu Shot?

The CDC recommends the flu shot over the nasal spray for those with chronic medical conditions.

Where Can You Get the Flu Shot?

The good news is that the flu vaccine is no longer confined to the locale of your physician's office. You can get the flu vaccine at many pharmacies, workplaces, supermarkets and other retail and clinic locations in your area (source: cdc.gov).

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