MYTH: I DON’T GET SICK. I don’t need to have a flu shot
Fact: Just because you haven’t gotten sick in the past doesn’t mean you won’t catch the flu in the future. Getting a flu shot reduces the chance that you will catch the flu and the possibility of passing it on to someone else.
Myth: I’ve been told by my doctor that I’m at low risk and may not need a flu shot. People over 65 are the ones who should get a flu shot.
Fact: During a “normal” flu season approximately 35,000 people die in the United States from influenza. Most of those deaths are in the very young and the very old. Children spread the disease in households where the most susceptible individuals live. By immunizing everyone we both reduce the amount of serious illness for all of us, and save the lives of those most likely to die of the disease.
Myth: There are new strains of the flu every year. Even if I get a flu shot, there is no guarantee that I won’t catch a new strain and get sick.
Fact: The reason we need a new flu shot every year is because new strains of the virus evolve every year. The World Health Organization tracks the spread of influenza across the globe and helps us receive the very latest strain in our annual flu vaccine.
Myth: My baby has a fragile immune system. I don’t want to overwhelm his or her immune system.
Fact: Babies have a very robust immune system. From the moment they are born they are immediately exposed to germs. Their immune systems can handle the constant attack of germs they are exposed to. They are able to receive a flu vaccination.
Myth: I’ve gotten the flu after getting a flu shot.
Fact: You cannot catch the flu from the flu shot. The material in the shot is not alive. However, there are a number of other sicknesses out there you can catch at any time. You can get sick with diarrhea or a cold. Sometimes we think we have “the flu” but it’s another illness instead.
Myth: The flu isn’t a serious illness. We’ve overblown the problem.
Fact: Everyone reacts to illness in a different way. Some handle the flu with very little trouble. For others it can become very serious. Influenza is not a disease you want your child or loved one to catch. You can prevent any threat of your child having a serious reaction by immunizing your children and the family around them.
Myth: There are harmful additives in the vaccine.
Fact: There is no medical proof that the very small amount of additives, used to stabilize the vaccine, are harmful. Only the vaccine vials used for more than one patient have such additives. All childhood vaccines, except for some influenza shots, are dispensed as single doses only.
Myth: I’ve been told that vaccines can cause other serious diseases such as Autism or Arthritis. I am not going to expose my children to that possibility or expose them to any other harmful side effects we may not be aware of at this time.
Fact: Serious vaccine reactions are rare. Vaccine testing is very robust. There is a lot of testing that is done before any vaccine is released. Just because it is on the internet doesn’t mean it is true.