False myths about the flu shot

As the winter months draw in, more and more people around the world are going to experience the dreaded flu. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in bed, suffering from a fever, feeling like you can’t breathe, and that an elephant has stood on your head. If you hate getting the flu, then you might want to consider getting the flu shot, which the CDC believes everyone (over the age of 6 months) should do. Unfortunately, there are many myths going around that stop people from getting the jab. We’re about to bust just a few of them!

You shouldn’t get the flu shot if you’re pregnant

It’s a common misconception that pregnant women shouldn’t get the flu shot, but according to research, this isn’t the case. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) have done various studies into the danger of getting a flu shot if you’re pregnant. They found that pregnant women are more likely to die if they contract the flu, than any other group. They also referred back to another study which says that there is a link to miscarriage, stating that there was no real correlation between the two (or at least not one that could be proven yet), and therefore pregnant women should get the flu shot. At the end of the day, there are no definite studies that prove any correlation yet, and so if you are pregnant and prone to the flu then getting the jab is something that the ACOG thinks you should consider.

The flu shot will make you ill

This is easily the most common misconception about the flu shot. People think that the jab contains the live flu virus and will, therefore, make you unwell. However, according to Dr. Malcolm Thaler from One Medical, there is nothing alive in the flu shot. While you may feel a little bit funny for up to 24 hours, this is simply your immune system getting ready. You’re not actually going to get the flu from getting a flu shot, according to Thaler. However, remember that the shot only stops you from getting the flu – sometimes you may (through bad luck) end up getting unwell around the same time as your jab. This isn’t the shot making you unwell; it’s likely to be just coincidence.

The young and healthy don’t need a flu shot

Finally, the biggest myth about the flu shot out there. Many people think that if they’re young and healthy, then there’s no reason for them to go and get the flu shot. However, according to the CDC, there are thousands of Americans who die through flu complications every year. While the elderly or infirm are more prone to these complications, nobody is totally immune. Also, if you contract the flu, then there’s a good chance of you passing it around. By getting the flu shot, you’ve got a better chance of stopping the illness spreading and potentially passing it on to someone elderly or chronically ill.

Of course, only you can decide whether the flu shot is for you or not. While the ACOG, CDC, and people like Dr. Malcolm Thaler can advise, it’s ultimately down to you. Hopefully, however, we’ve busted some of the biggest myths about the flu shot.