Misconceptions About Getting an Annual Flu Shot
By: Jay Plavnick
Misconception: If I get a flu shot, will I get catch the flu?
Answer: No, you will not get the flu if you receive a flu shot. The flu shot contains viruses that have been “inactivated” so they are not infectious and therefore you will not get the flu from the flu vaccine. You might get any of these minor side effects: a sore arm, a mild fever, or redness at the site of injection.
Misconception: I was told that I only need one flu shot in my lifetime?
Answer: No, it is important to get a flu shot every year. The CDC recommends “a yearly flu vaccine for just about everyone six months and older, and people with certain chronic health conditions, such as asthma, heart disease or diabetes. Any flu infection can carry a risk of serious complications, hospitalization or death, even among otherwise healthy children and adults. Therefore, getting vaccinated is a safer choice than risking illness to obtain immune protection.” (1)
Misconception: Can I get the flu shot any time of the year?
Answer: The best time to get your flu shot is between the middle of September and November. Flu season usually peaks between December and March each year.
Misconception: Do I have protection immediately if I get the flu shot?
Answer: No, it takes about two weeks to build immunity in your system before you receive full coverage from the flu shot.