Facts and Myths About the Flu Shot Vaccine


It’s the least fantastic time of the 12 months: flu season.

With coughs and sniffles abound, many are desirous to get the flu vaccine — whereas others are avoiding the shot like, effectively, the plague.

While the nasal flu vaccine has been largely unavailable in recent times, medical specialists are urging the general public to get the vaccine in shot type because the colder months set in.

The flu shot comprises an inactive dose of the influenza virus, which prompts the immune system to create antibodies to battle off the possibly lethal viral an infection.

However, whereas many are lining as much as get the influenza vaccine, others stay skeptical of the shot’s results.

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that it’s “important to convey the full burden of seasonal flu to the public.”

“Seasonal flu is a serious disease that causes illness, hospitalizations, and deaths every year in the United States,” in accordance with the positioning.

With that, listed below are the details and myths in regards to the flu vaccine:

Myth: The Vaccine Causes the Flu

Dr. Denise Pate, Internal Medicine Doctor at Medical Offices of Manhattan, tells PEOPLE she’s encountered a number of sufferers who have been cautious of the shot on account of long-circulated rumors that it causes sickness.

“They think it’s gonna give them the flu, it’s a very common thing,” she says. “Because the virus is inactive, it absolutely cannot transmit the infection.”


Pate additionally famous that whereas the shot comprises inactive influenza, the nasal vaccine held the stay virus: “They found that that has not been effective.”

“There are people who should not be exposed to the live virus … the elderly, the very young, pregnant women are not allowed to get the live virus.”

Fact: Patients May Experience Flu-Like Symptoms Shortly After Getting the Vaccine

Pate says that, for as much as a day after getting the shot, some could expertise physique aches, soreness across the injection web site and “may feel a bit feverish.”

“I think it’s important to recognize the side effects of getting the shot versus what the actual flu is,” she says. “It is frequent that while you do get the flu shot, you’re taking within the inactive virus so that you’re physique is getting uncovered to one thing.

“The response that you have is basically you may be slightly under the weather.”

Myth: The Flu Shot Has Severe Health Consequences

Despite rumors that injecting the inactive virus into the blood stream may alter individuals’s well being, Dr. Pate says the transient unwanted side effects of the vaccine are actually the one threat.

“It’s extremely rare that anyone would develop a more serious reaction. The evidence shows us that there are so many people every year who actually die from the flu,” she says.

“The side effects are limited to feeling a little but under the weather … the side effects really are the only risk.”

Fact: The Flu Shot is ‘Never 100 Percent Foolproof’

Dr. Pate says that, very like every other vaccine, there may be not a 100 p.c badure that an individual is not going to get the flu.

“But if you do get the flu shot, the possibility of getting the flu is severely reduced and if you do come across the virus and if you do develop symptoms, it would be far less severe than if you did not get the shot,” she tells PEOPLE.

“There is still a possibility that people will get the shot and will still come down with the flu, but those cases are much more mild.”

Dr. Pate provides that the vaccine takes as much as two weeks to take full impact — “So there’s a possibility that if someone got it today and next week they got exposed with the flu, they could come down with the flu because the vaccine isn’t protecting them yet.”

Dr. Denise Pate
Courtesy Denise Pate

Myth: Pregnant Women Should Not Get the Flu Shot

Experts say that youngsters beneath 6 months previous shouldn’t get the vaccine, however Dr. Pate tells PEOPLE that it’s typically advisable that pregnant ladies get the shot for their very own well being — and that of their unborn little one.

“When the mom gets [the shot] the antibodies that she makes from that will get pbaded on to the baby in utero,” Dr. Pate says. “So, when the baby’s born, the baby is already somewhat protected against the flu for at least a couple of months after they’ve been exposed to the antibodies.”

She provides that the vaccine is “really important to pregnant women,” and notes that the shot is useful for the infant as a result of infants’ weak immune programs make them extra vulnerable to an infection.

Fact: Patients 65 or Older Receive a Special Type of Vaccine

Though it’s endorsed that sufferers between 6 months and 65 years previous get the shot, a particular type of the vaccine is run to the aged, Dr. Pate tells PEOPLE.

“As someone gets older their immune system changes,” she says. “Specifically patients older than 65, there is a special flu shot for them called the high-dose flu shot”

She provides: “Basically it’s just a more concentrated version of the regular flu shot. The thought process is that it may last a little bit longer in the system, so [the elderly are] covered a little bit longer than the younger person.”


Myth: The Shot Causes Severe Reactions for Those with Egg Allergies

Dr. Pate says this hypothesis possible stems from the truth that the vaccine is incubated in an egg and comprises a small quantity of egg proteins. However, she says these with egg allergy symptoms needn’t be involved.

“There’s a very small amount of egg proteins in these shots and I think the risks of getting it are far less harmful than the benefits,” she tells PEOPLE. “If anything happens, it’s usually a skin reaction like hives.”

Fact: Patients with Egg Allergies Should Be Monitored After Getting the Vaccine

“They should be potentially observed for a period of time in a hospital setting, for maybe 30 minutes after getting the vaccine,” she says.

However, when updating its pointers on the situation and the vaccine final 12 months, the CDC scrapped the 30-minute-monitoring advice.

“Studies that have examined the use of both the nasal spray vaccine and flu shots in egg-allergic and non-egg-allergic patients indicate that severe allergic reactions in people with egg allergies are unlikely,” officers acknowledged on the CDC web site.

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Myth: The Flu Vaccine Causes Autism in Children

Perhaps essentially the most controversial of the myths surrounding the flu shot are claims that the vaccine causes autism in youngsters.

However, there isn’t a scientific proof that the photographs and the dysfunction are related, the New York Times experiences.

“I really don’t think that [the vaccine] is linked to autism,” Dr. Pate says. “This topic is really, really controversial … but I really don’t think there is any correlation.”

Skeptics have suspected the hyperlink as a result of a mercury-containing, organized compound has been used as a preservative in some vaccines.

Dr. Pate says that although there was a rise in autism in recent times, that’s possible as a result of the situation is solely being acknowledged extra typically.

“It’s something we’re diagnosing more because we’re more aware of it,” she says. “Years ago, people with autism would just be called ‘slow’ or ‘delayed.’ ”

She provides: “People have been getting flu shots for many years and I don’t think there’s a correlation.”

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