There are a myriad of misconceptions when it comes to the flu vaccine. One of the most widely spread misconception is that you are given the live flu virus when you get the flu shot. However, this is not the case.
Every year, people in the US usually question whether or not to get the flu shot and its effectiveness. Overall, the flu shot is beneficial to all but this is especially the case for children and the elderly.
We have all heard of the flu, but some might not actually know what it is. The flu is a respiratory illness that is super contagious (which is one of the reasons that the flu shot is so important). The main symptoms of the flu include a fever, a runny nose, a sore throat, and muscle soreness. Although often grouped together, the flu and the common cold are not one in the same, although sometimes they do have overlapping symptoms. It is caused by influenza viruses and can actually be quite dangerous. It can cause you to be out of commission for at least a few days and up to a few weeks.
It doesn’t help that flu season is anything but short, usually taking up half of the year from October to March. Flu shot clinics start around October so now is the best time to learn more about it, especially since you likely have a lot of questions about it since there tends to be a lot of misinformation and unanswered questions when it comes to the flu shot.
The flu shot is the #1 way to prevent you from getting the flu and passing it on to others.
As we mentioned above, the flu is very contagious. The reason for this is the fact that it can be spread through anything referred to as a respiratory secretion which spread when we cough or sneeze. These secretions often end up on surfaces, especially things like door handles and other things that are touched by a lot of people. Just take a moment to think about all of the potentially infected surfaces you touch in a day. For instance, the elevator buttons and door handles that you have to touch just to leave your apartment (if you live in on, of course). Then think about the apple you might eat in your car on the way to work without first washing it or your hands. Schools, offices, and means of public transportation like busses and subways are some of the biggest culprits since they all make up spaces that house a lot of potentially sick people.
It’s honestly not that hard when you think about it. If your goal is to avoid getting the flu or at least not getting as severe of a flu in the event that you do get it, then get the flu shot. There is no denying that it is not 100%, but the more people that get vaccinated the less there is to spread to others in the community. Recent studies conducted by the CDC studies have found that the flu vaccine can lower someone’s risk of getting the flu by 40–60%. Unless you are under 6 months old or have an allergy to it, the flu shot is just the right choice.