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Effective Monday, July 19, 2021, the following NOH/OMG office locations will no longer provide on-site blood draws: Westlake, Lorain, Olmsted Falls and Dewhurst. Click here for the nearest lab service location. 

The 3 Biggest Flu Vaccine Myths: Busted

December 30, 2014

3 biggest flu vaccine myths busted

We know that vaccinations are often a hot button issue, but regardless of whether you choose to get the flu vaccine, it’s important to understand the facts. Your health is a very personal decision, but you don’t want to risk making choices on myths and misconceptions. 

(For the record, we stand with the CDC on the recommendation that everyone over the age of six months should get a flu shot, with only a few rare exceptions.) 

It’s hard to say how myths get started, but it often isn’t long before they manage to take on a life of their own. Don’t allow yourself to fall victim to misinformation when it comes to your health. Here are the three biggest myths and misunderstandings about the flu vaccine. 

Myth #1: Getting a Flu Shot Can Cause the Flu

The flu vaccine contains inactivated strands of the flu virus, which means they’re unable to cause infection. However, while getting the flu shot won’t give you the flu, it also doesn’t guarantee you won’t get it. The effectiveness of the flu vaccine varies by season and the health of the person in question, but studies have shown the reduction of risk associated with getting a flu vaccine is substantial – over 70 percent in some cases and closer to 90 percent in others

The bottom line? Getting the flu vaccine definitely won’t give you the flu, but it might not ultimately keep you from getting it. It’s still important to exercise cautionary health behavior (like getting plenty of rest and washing your hands) even after receiving your vaccine. 

Myth #2: If You Don’t Get Your Flu Shot Early, You Shouldn’t Bother

While it’s recommended to get your flu shot as soon as they become available (usually around September), the vaccine is still a worthwhile health investment all throughout flu season. In fact, peak flu season isn’t usually until in January or February, but can last well into March, so it’s not too late to protect yourself. As long as the virus is circulating, you’re at risk. 

Myth #3: If You Got a Flu Shot Last Year, You Don’t Need Another One 

The flu virus can change each season, which means the vaccine is typically updated each year. Because of this, receiving a flu vaccine should be a yearly practice. The best way to avoid falling victim to a new strand of the virus is to get an updated vaccine at the beginning of flu season every year. Here’s a tip: schedule your yearly check-up in the fall so it coincides with the beginning of flu season. That way, you’ll be able to get your vaccine without having to schedule a separate visit. 

Having accurate information is the best way to avoid falling for health myths. Get the facts and make the right choices for your body. 

Curious about other ways you can prevent the flu in addition to getting a flu shot? Check out our free flu prevention guide.