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Dispelling Common Myths This Flu Season

tea and used tissues

We’d like to help dispel some common cold and flu myths.

Those of us who have had the flu know just how miserable it can be.  While most of us take steps to avoid getting sick, sometimes common advice is actually based on falsehoods. To ensure that this misinformation does not affect our health, here are some statements that address common flu myths.

  • Myth 1: We can catch the flu from the vaccine.

The flu vaccine is made from an inactivated virus that is incapable of transmitting infection.  However, the vaccine takes about one to two weeks to become effective, meaning that we can catch the flu during this timeframe. Many people who catch the flu immediately after being vaccinated wrongly assume it was the vaccine that made them sick.

  • Myth 2: Healthy people don’t need to be vaccinated.

While it is more important for people with compromised immune systems to get vaccinated, everyone should get the vaccine.  Not only will this help us avoid getting sick, but it also ensures that we do not pass the flu to parties who are unable to get vaccinated, such as young children.The CDC recommends annual influenza vaccinations for everyone age 6 months or older. Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk of influenza complications, including:

  • Pregnant women
  • Older adults
  • Young children

Children between 6 months and 8 years may need two doses of the flu vaccine, given at least four weeks apart, to be fully protected. A 2017 study showed that the vaccine significantly reduces a child’s risk of dying of the flu.

  • Myth 3: We don’t need to be vaccinated every year.

The influenza virus changes every year.  To ensure that we protect ourselves against this virus, we need to get a new vaccination every year.  People with allergies to the flu vaccine or ingredients in the vaccine should speak with their primary care health advisorto determine whether it is safe to get vaccinated. These health organizations also recommend getting our vaccines before the end of October to ensure that the flu does not spread through our communities.

We at The Maria Sanchez Show hope you will join us as we get vaccinated this flu season.  Don’t forget to check out our latest program, Shadow Politics with Senator Michael D. Brown.  Tune in on Sundays at 4:00 p.m. PDT/7:00 p.m. EDT.

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