It is projected that there will be an increased demand for the flu vaccine during the 2020-2021 season.  Since the circulation of COVID-19 there has been a widely recognized importance of the prevention of influenza and getting the flu shot.  This is an opportunity for healthcare professionals to educate and advocate immunization for people of all ages, not just those over 65 years old.  In addition the current outbreak of COVID is being predicted to persist into at least the fall, with health experts concerned over potential overlap with flu season.  For those reasons, here is a list of Flu Shot Myths and the answers/explanations you can use to counsel patients, families and co-workers.

MYTH:  It is better to get the flu than to get the flu shot

TRUTH: Preventive measures, such as getting the flu shot, carry  much lower risks of harm than infection with the virus itself.  Influenza can result in serious infections for certain people, such as young children, adults 65 years and older, pregnant women and those with medical conditions.  Even in healthy individuals, influenza can lead to serious complications.

MYTH: The flu shot will give me the flu

TRUTH: Influenza vaccines cannot cause influenza illness.  The vaccine is manufactured from inactivated (killed) virus which is not infectious or from a single gene from the virus that causes an immune response but does not cause infection.  Immunity takes up to 2 weeks for antibody protection against the flu so potential exposure to influenza before vaccination could result in illness.