Now, More Than Ever – Don’t Forget Your Flu Shot!
As we head into fall, we enter into the beginning of the traditional flu season. Of course, the fall of 2020 is anything but traditional this year as seasonal flu will be happening at the same time as COVID-19. While COVID-19 is still the most critical health challenge facing Lane County and the US in general, it still is very important for people to get their annual flu shot.
In light of this, we thought we would help dispel some of the lingering myths about flu shots and hopefully remove any last barriers to getting yours in the next two months.
Myth: If I get a flu shot, I’ll get the flu.
Fact: 100 percent false. Modern flu shots contain a dead, inactive virus. It is not capable of generating the flu, but helps your body develop immunities to the live and active virus.
Myth: I got a flu shot last year, so I don’t need one this year.
Fact: Flu viruses constantly change and evolve. What worked a year ago, may not work this year. Every flu season needs a specific flu vaccine.
Myth : It doesn’t really work much of the time.
Fact: While it’s possible that not everyone will be protected from their flu shot, your odds are still much better than going without one. Most estimates says that a flu shot reduces your risk by about 60 percent. And the more people who get the shot, the odds go up for us all.
Myth : If I’m pregnant , I should skip the shot this year.
Fact: A persistent myth is that flu shots can cause miscarriages. This is not true, and what’s worse is that the flu itself can cause miscarriages. Of course you should always consult your doctor when pregnant, but flu shots are absolutely recommended for pregnant women.
Myth: Side effects from the shot are worse than the flu.
Fact: Hardly. While in rare circumstances a person could develop mild aches, fatigue and fever, these are much less severe than a full-blown flu.
Myth : If I get the flu, I’ll just go to my doctor and get some antibiotics.
Fact: Sorry, antibiotics fight bacteria, not viruses and have no effect on the flu.
Myth: Healthy people don’t die from the flu.
Fact: While the flu is particularly bad for the very young, the elderly and those with underlying conditions, every year very healthy people get really sick and even die from the flu.
Myth : I never get the flu so I don’t need to be vaccinated.
Fact: You’ve probably just been lucky. Like we said, every year the flu virus is different and poses a brand new risk for people. Dodging the flu in the past is no guarantee of avoiding it this year without a vaccine.
Finally, here is a new myth specific to 2020.
Myth: I f I get my seasonal flu shot this year, I’m putting myself at risk for COVID-19.
Fact: Perhaps even more than ever this year, health care professionals are going to be putting in place safety protocols to protect themselves and their patients. With mandatory mask wearing and disinfecting protocols, you will be safe getting this year’s shot.
So stick to the facts and don’t forget to get your flu shot!