Flu is not like the usual common cold that everyone gets from time to time; it’s much more dangerous. Flu, also known as Influenza, can cause high fevers, coughs, body aches, and fatigue. Severe complications can be pneumonia, respiratory failure, and even death. The proper way to avoid catching the flu is to receive a flu shot; in fact, the CDC urges that everyone over six months should get a flu shot.
Getting vaccinated is simple nowadays as one has to find nearby doctor clinic and get a flu shot, but people refuse to because they heard some myths about it. Hopefully, those myths get cleared up with the following information on it.
- People can catch the flu from the flu shot.
It is a widespread myth to believe that the flu shot can cause the flu, but the viruses present in the shot have been killed and can’t infect the person. The flu is incredibly dangerous for newborn babies, older adults, and pregnant women, so it’s essential to get a flu shot to protect others.
- The vaccines are ineffective.
The vaccines take about two weeks to get a sufficient amount of antibiotics developed in the body to fight against the live virus if the person gets infected.
- The person already has a cold, so they can’t get the vaccine.
This myth is furthest from the truth as contrary to the myth; it can be an excellent time to get the shot as the body already has lots of antibodies produced inside. So this combined massive production of antibodies helps the body to protect against the virus.
- If the person already had the flu recently, then they are immune.
Influenza strains mutate very quickly, so, during the flu season, there are multiple strains of influenza circulating in the environment. The person might have recovered from one particular strain, but that doesn’t make them immune to other strains present.
- It is not necessary to take the flu shot each year.
Influenza virus replicates and multiplies rapidly, and some changes occur in genetic make up each time, which is the cause of mutations of the virus. These mutations lead to multiple strains of the same influenza virus existing in the surroundings.
Each year the strains of viruses keep changing a little, which sometimes renders previous antibodies useless as it can’t recognize the new strains. So it is crucial to get a flu shot each year as the scientists develop new vaccines for a few of the most common strains of influenza virus found that year.
- Pregnant women can’t have the flu shot
Pregnant women and the baby are vulnerable to the virus, so doctors strongly recommended for them to get a flu shot even early on as the newborn for the first few months of existence. As long as the vaccine contains completely dead viruses, it is safe for the pregnant woman. If not vaccinated, the complications can be extremely severe and even cause premature labor.
In general, it’s widespread to get confused by the information available online about anything, so in the case of vaccines and the queries regarding them consulting a doctor would give the most accurate results and answers. The takeaway from this is not to believe every myth about vaccines and ask an expert for factual information.