I often hear people justify not getting a flu shot by saying something like, “I got the shot and STILL got a nasty stomach bug”! The problem with that logic, of course, is that the 24 hour stomach bug that seems to go around each year is not the flu, and neither is the common cold. We definitely hear a lot of different myths when it comes to getting your flu shot and I thought I would take some time to squash a few of them right now!
Myth #1 – The flu vaccine gives you the flu.
FALSE. Flu vaccinations delivered via a needle are either made with an ‘inactivated’ flu virus that’s not infectious or with no flu virus at all.
Myth #2 – You don’t need to get the flu vaccine every year.
FALSE. Almost half of Canadians (46%) say they aren’t concerned about spreading the flu to others, and the same amount say they aren’t getting vaccinated this year. But pharmacists warn Canadians – “Don’t Miss Out!”. In order to best protect yourself from the flu you need to be vaccinated annually and Canadians can drop in to their local Shoppers Drug Mart any time of day no appointment necessary to get vaccinated this season. Furthermore, the CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for just about everyone 6 months and older, even when the viruses the vaccine protects against have not changed from the previous season.
Myth #3 – You should wait until the height of flu season to get vaccinated so you’re protected for longer.
FALSE. While it’s never too late to get vaccinated, it’s best to receive your flu shot soon after it’s available, likely October. The antibodies delivered via the flu vaccine that protect you against infection take up to two weeks to take effect, and since the flu peaks between December to February it’s important to get vaccinated early so you don’t miss out on those March break plans!
Myth #4 – Pregnant women need to get consent from their doctor prior to receiving the flu vaccine.
FALSE. There is no recommendation for pregnant women to seek consent from their doctor prior to vaccination. However, there are some people who should seek their doctors’ advice prior to being vaccinated, including those who have a moderate to severe illness and patients with a history of Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
Those are just a few of the misconceptions associated with the flu shot but there are many more. If you have questions regarding the flu shot, your best course of action is to stop in to your local Shoppers Drug Mart and ask to speak to the pharmacist on duty. They will be able to bust any myths and calm any concerns you might have and give you your flu shot at the same time!.
Shoppers Drug Mart Giveaway!
Alright, for being such great readers and for considering Shoppers Drug Mart for your flu shot needs, I am giving away a Cold & Flu Prize Pack which includes a $100 gift card from Shoppers Drug Mart! This should get you through any sniffles you may come across during flu season and prevent you from having to reuse tissues… This giveaway is open to residents of Canada, excluding Quebec.
Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program, which I am taking part in because I believe in the flu shot.