DEERFIELD, Ill.— With National Influenza Vaccination Week coming up (December 1 to 7), Walgreens is helping to dispel some of the top flu myths such as getting the flu shot can give you the flu and if it’s later in the flu season and you haven’t gotten a flu shot yet, there’s really no point.
“One of the biggest myths we hear is that the flu shot can give you the flu. Not true. The flu vaccine cannot cause flu illness. The vaccine is manufactured using what’s known as a ‘dead’ or inactive virus, so it cannot cause anyone to get influenza as a result of receiving the vaccine,” said Sam Nass, Walgreens immunizations manager.
“Another myth: it’s too late to get your flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone six months of age and older receive their flu shot before the end of October, but the flu season is long – sometimes lasting until March or April – so getting your flu shot now will still help to protect you from the flu this season,” he added.
Nass said that some people also think that because they’re healthy, and not elderly or pregnant, that they don’t need the flu vaccine. “That’s another myth. Even in a healthy person, the flu can become severe. Without the flu shot, you increase your chances of missing work, holiday gatherings, etc. because of the flu, as well as risk getting other people sick. It’s important to remember that the flu shot remains your best protection against influenza, and you’re protecting yourself and others when you get the vaccine.”
He said according to a survey by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), only 52% of U.S. adults plan to get a flu shot this season, even though most agree it’s the best defense.
Nass added that the Walgreens Flu Index shows the flu is starting to intensify in several states. “Now is the time to remind people to get protected before the virus spreads.”