FLU VACCINE MYTHS

The flu vaccine does not work:

  • The vaccine will not protect against colds and other respiratory illnesses that may be mistaken for influenza.
  • Protection from the vaccine takes about 2 weeks to develop, and lasts upto one year.
  • With a good match of the vaccine with the circulating strains, the vaccine is 70-90% effective in healthy children and adults.
  • If vaccinated persons still get the flu, the disease after vaccination will be much milder.

 

The flu vaccine made me sick.

  • It is important to note that the vaccine CANNOT cause influenza or influenza-like illness
  • Because it only protects against 3 strains of flu viruses, you CAN still get sick with all of the other viruses out there.

 

The flu is not that serious.

  • The flu can cause complications, especially in high risk groups, of the following:

-Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, dehydration

-Worsening of chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes,

heart attack, heart failure

I can’t get the influenza vaccine because I’m pregnant.

  • The flu vaccine is safe for pregnant women.  No demonstrated harm to the fetus.
  • Pregnant women are at increased risk of complications if they get the flu.
  • Bottom line:  not only CAN you get the vaccine if you’re pregnant, but you SHOULD

get it if you’re pregnant.

 

 

Side Effects associated with Vaccination in Healthy Adults (reported 7 days after injection)

Symptom Placebo Flu Vaccine
Fever 6.1% 6.2%
Tiredness 19.4% 18.9%
“Under the Weather” 17.5% 16%
Muscle Aches 5.7% 6.2%
Headache 14.4% 10.8%
Arm Soreness 24% 63.8%

*placebo: the group that did not actually get the flu vaccine                      Nichol KL, et al. NEJM 1995;333:889-93.

 

Please get your flu vaccine today, and help protect yourself, your family, your friends.

 

 

-Dr. K. Goyal