January 19, 2013

Busted Myths about Flu Shots

As the flu epidemic rages on, experts say the best defense against the virus is getting a seasonal flu shot. Unfortunately, only about a third of people got vaccinated early in the season this year.

Myth 1: The flu shot causes the flu

Flu shots tend to be given at the time of year when respiratory viruses run rampant anyway. So some people catch a respiratory bug right around the same time they receive the vaccine. Also, because it takes about two weeks to build up immunity to the virus after receiving a shot, some people may get sick with the flu within that timeframe.

Myth 2: I've already had the flu so it's too late to get vaccinated

Not so. Even if you've had the flu this year, get the vaccine. You are still susceptible to other strains of flu.
Another mistaken belief: It's too late in the season to get a flu shot for it to do any good. Even though the flu epidemic has waned in many areas over the past week, the virus is prone to ebbs and flows and could still make a comeback.

Myth 3: The Flu Shot is 100% effective

Flu vaccines are imperfect, but they are the best protection against the flu.   CDC estimates found that those who got a shot vaccine are 62% less likely to get the flu and at far lower risk of requiring medical care if they do get sick.

Myth 4: People who are allergic to eggs can't get a flu shot

This is a common myth since current flu shots contain strains of the influenza virus grown in eggs. A reaction to the shot by someone with egg allergies is rare. But, avoid getting a flu shot if you have a severe allergy to eggs.

Of 367 people with egg allergies who received a flu shot. None had a serious reaction to the shot, not even subjects with a history of developing anaphylaxis.

If you want to stay healthy, and keep you neighbors healthy in your apartment in Lexington Park, MD this flu season, it is advised that you get the shot.