Friends and family often have their own remedies or beliefs on how to avoid getting sick or how to fight the flu, but we are here to answer frequently asked questions and bust the most common myths.
I’m healthy. I don’t need the vaccine.
You may be a great driver, but you still need car insurance in case someone else causes an accident, right? Why risk four to six days of high fever, sore throat, body aches and other symptoms that will limit your ability to go to work or attend school? The flu virus can lead to serious complications including pneumonia, dehydration, hospitalization, and in some cases, even death.
These can all be prevented, or at least minimized, by receiving the vaccine. It’s also critical for those who are in regular contact with children under the age of 6 months and those with chronic illness to get vaccinated to reduce the risk of illness in the household.that provider.
Flu shots make me sick!
The vaccine does not infect a person with influenza. The vaccine works by helping your body’s immune system recognize the virus so that it can create a defense (antibodies) that will fight the flu.
I have a cold so I can’t get my flu shot.
A cold can’t stop you from getting your flu shot! However, your primary care provider won’t give you the vaccine if you have a high fever and are experiencing respiratory symptoms because your immune system won’t be strong enough to create the antibodies it needs to protect you against the flu.
The flu shot will keep me from getting colds too.
The flu is not a severe cold or pneumonia, even though symptoms can be similar. It is a virus that is extremely aggressive. When you ask your health care provider for a “flu shot,” you will get the influenza vaccine which protects you from the virus. The flu vaccine won’t protect you against colds or pneumonia.
What about side effects?
The most common side effects are soreness around the injection area, redness, nausea and muscle aches, which usually go away in a couple of days. Children may be scared of getting a shot, but it’s very important for them to receive their immunizations – one pinch and it’s done!
Why does the vaccine change from year to year?
The vaccine changes every year because the virus changes every year. This makes it difficult for our body to detect the virus in time and we end up getting sick. Thanks to technology and the study of viruses, scientists can try to predict what the virus will look like for the upcoming flu season.
Sometimes the virus changes too quickly and the rate of protection can be lower than expected but it has been proven year after year that the vaccine is a great tool to prevent complications and even reduce mortality rates in all age groups.
You now have the right information that can protect you and your loved ones during this year’s flu season. The flu is not just a simple cold, it’s a highly-contagious illness that can be life-threatening for those who have chronic illnesses.
Get Your Free Shots at AltaMed!
Get vaccinated today against the virus at your nearest AltaMed medical center to protect yourself and your family. It’s free and you don’t need an appointment. See hours and locations near you.