Myth #1 - The flu vaccine doesn't work.
The influenza vaccine like many things in life isn't perfect, and you may, although it's unlikely, get the flu even if you had the vaccine. If you do get the flu, your symptoms will likely be less severe with the vaccine than without.(1)
Myth #2 - A vaccine isn't needed every year.
As the flu virus replicates, it changes. Each season strains making the way through communities may be different, making immunity from previous vaccinations no longer protective. Immune protection of the vaccine fades over time.(2) So, get your shot each year!
Myth #3 - The vaccine causes the flu.
No need to worry! Although the vaccine mist does contain the virus in a weakened state, these viruses cannot enter the bloodstream or reproduce in the lungs to cause an infection. The shot version doesn't contain any live virus, therefore isn't able to cause the flu. (3)
There are some minor side effects of the vaccine, however these are not the flu. Speak with your healthcare provider in regards to any questions or side effects you may have.
Myth #4 - I'm healthy, do I need the vaccine?
Yes. Even if you're at the top of your health game, you should get the vaccine. The virus doesn't discriminate, it'll infect a healthy athlete or an elderly person with a compromised immune system. Getting the vaccine also protects those around you and in your home. Some are either too young, or not able to get vaccinated due to health and religious reasons. So, the more of us vaccinated helps protect those who are unable. (4) The flu is dangerous, far more than the average cold. Last year 145 children died from the flu. (5) Help protect those around you!
Woodcreek offers both types of the flu vaccine, inactivated (non-live), also called the flu shot and the live, attenuated (weakened) mist, also called "FluMist" which is sprayed into the nostrils. We currently are offering the flu vaccine to our pediatric patients at office visits. If you don't have an office visit currently scheduled, you can call 253-848-8797 and schedule a "Nurse Visit" to get your children the flu vaccine. We'll be scheduling flu clinics soon and will post that information on our website and social media as it comes available.
Want more information about the flu and vaccine? Click here to go to our immunization page where you can find out more.
(1). (2), (3), (4), (5)- The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia newsletter.