We’re just getting in to flu season and
It’s important that we know how to protect ourselves, or limit our chances, of getting the influenza virus this year. One way of doing so is getting the flu vaccination. Despite the clear benefits of getting a flu jab, there are lots of misconceptions. Here, I bust flu vaccine myths…
1. Flu is just a ‘bad cold’ so the vaccine is not important
Last winter, 133 people died from flu and over 1000 were admitted to intensive care or high dependency units in hospital. Flu is not simply a bad cold; we wouldn’t go to the trouble of a national vaccination program for just a bad cold.
2. The flu vaccine gives you flu
People have told me that they’ve contracted flu from the vaccination. This is a common myth that circulates. The truth is, you can’t catch flu from a flu jab and there is a very simple reason for this: there is no working virus within the vaccination. Some vaccinations are indeed ‘live’ – they have tiny amounts of the active virus in them which your body recognises, encouraging your immune system to create the protection against that virus.
3. Children are only vaccinated to protect others
Over the last few years, the UK has followed other countries and started to recommend routine flu vaccinations to all children. We now have school-based programmes offering the children the vaccine from Reception to Year 4.
4. I’m allergic to eggs so I can’t have a flu jab
There is some truth in this, but not completely. The flu jab that is usually used is made using eggs in which they cultivate the virus parts. That does mean that people who are genuinely allergic to eggs may react to it. However, there are egg-free and low-egg content vaccinations available for those who need it. If you are recommended a flu vaccination and allergic to eggs ask your GP.
Article credit: Prima
Photo credit: Prima