Despite being a safe and effective way to protect against influenza, some people are skeptical of the flu vaccine. Some think you can catch the flu by getting a shot, or it will make them sick. Others worry that the vaccine isn't actually protective. However, studies have shown that these fears are unfounded. Getting a flu shot in Atlanta is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick during wintertime. It's time to debunk these flu shot myths and some general influenza myths.
Flu Shot Myth #1: The flu vaccine can give you the flu
We decided to debunk one of the biggest flu vaccine myths around first. The flu vaccine cannot give you the flu.
The flu vaccine contains a dead flu virus or parts of the flu virus protein. Whichever method experts use to develop the vaccines that year, it's quite literally impossible for the flu shot to give you the flu.
We understand that some minor side effects from taking the vaccine may appear as flu symptoms. But don't worry; those are completely normal!
Flu Shot Myth #2: The flu shot causes serious side effects
Speaking of side effects, what about the flu shot side effects? Are they something to worry about? The short answer is: no.
The flu shot, like other vaccinations, can cause a reaction. But don't worry! Side effects can be common. All in all, these vaccination side effects are minor and not long-lasting.
Some side effects from the flu shot can appear:
- Soreness in the arm where the shot was administered
- Muscle aches
You'll know what to expect if you've received your COVID-19 vaccine and boosters in our Atlanta urgent care. You already know how vaccine side effects disappear after a few days.
Flu Shot Myth #3: Pregnant women shouldn't get the flu vaccine
Since pregnant women experience a lowered immune response, it's paramount that they receive this season's flu vaccine. Over the decades, there is also overwhelming research that the flu vaccine is safe for pregnant women.
There's no specific ideal time for pregnant women to get vaccinated; any trimester will work.
Flu Shot Myth #4: You can get the flu even with the vaccine, so it doesn't work
While the flu vaccine is the number one way to prevent the spread of the flu, it doesn't have 100% effectiveness. No vaccine has 100% effectiveness. Depending on your immune system, your body may not mount an efficient response to the flu virus.
More importantly, several different flu viruses are making the rounds and circulating in the community. When getting your flu vaccination, our Atlanta urgent care doctors will offer you any information about the efficacy of this season's flu vaccine.
Now let’s examine some common flu myths that need to be addressed.
Flu Myth #1: You only spread the flu if you show symptoms
Just because you aren't experiencing flu symptoms doesn't mean you can't be carrying this season's flu virus.
Nearly 1 out of every 3 people each flu season appear healthy when they're asymptomatic. Maybe it's because of partial immunity or how their immune system works.
Either way, influenza can easily infiltrate your life and cause complications. That's why it's essential to use the flu vaccine as a prevention measure to help prevent the asymptomatic and symptomatic spread of the virus.
Flu Myth #2: You can get the flu from being outside in the cold
You can't get the flu any other way than by being exposed to the flu virus.
That means being outside when it's cold or being near a window that lets in a draft don't give you the flu. But be sure to bundle up anyway!
Flu season is from fall to winter, but influenza can appear all year round. There's no correlation between cold weather and this virus.
Tips For Preventing The Spread Of The Flu Virus
First and foremost, getting your flu shot at your annual physical or Atlanta urgent care visit is the number one prevention method.
Secondly, practicing good hygiene in your everyday life is crucial.
For example, sanitizing, washing your hands, and cleaning your face regularly are vital. And don't forget about getting a good night's sleep. These preventative measures all go a long way toward keeping people healthy this flu season.
Another surefire way to avoid the flu is by staying out of close contact with people who are sick.
Likewise, if you're sick, keep a safe distance from others to prevent spreading the flu to them.
Debunking Flu Shot Myths And Getting Vaccinated In Atlanta
The flu vaccine is a preventative measure to protect from severe illness, and getting a flu shot is completely safe. It goes a long way toward ensuring people are happy and healthy for the holidays, too.
Don't let these contagious flu shot myths prevent you from avoiding illness this holiday season. By getting the flu vaccine, you protect yourself and others against severe illness and hospitalization.
When you get a flu shot in Atlanta, urgent care doctors will answer any questions you may have.
Our Atlanta urgent care at WestsideMed is well-equipped to treat the possible side effects and address your concerns. With several respiratory viruses, like COVID-19 and RSV, in our communities this winter, it's vital that we protect ourselves and others.
For more information on flu vaccines and general health advice, walk into the WestMed walk-in urgent care in Atlanta today!