The other day I wrote about a nurse who refused to get the flu shot and was fired for violating the hospital's requirement that she do so. Although that nurse has a right to refuse the shot, there are a lot of myths surrounding the flu shot that may prevent people from getting it. Ultimately, the flu shot can be a great preventative measure, especially since the Centers for Disease Control reports that the flu has now become an epidemic.
- The flu shot can give you the flu. Not true, says the CDC. The viruses in the flu shot are killed in the course of production, which means a shot cannot give you the infection. Some people do report soreness at the injection site, and in rare instances, fever, muscle pain, discomfort or weakness. Also, it takes two weeks for the shot to take effect, which means you are vulnerable during that time period.
- It is better to get the shot later on in the flu season so that its effects won't wane. This isn't true either, since the flu shot will last the entire season. The CDC recommends that all people older than 6 months get the shot.
- The flu shot may harm the baby during pregnancy. Wrong–the flu shot is a vital part of prenatal care and is recommended for all pregnant women by the American Pregnancy Association. In fact, pregnant women are more vulnerable to flu complications.
- I've had the flu before, and survived it, so it's no big deal if I get it again. This isn't true either. Viruses that circulate during one year may be different than those that do the next year. Also, people's responses vary from year to year, meaning you may get sicker than you did the year before.
- The flu shot doesn't work. The flu shot is shown to work in 60% of all age groups based on data from 2011-2012, and previous year's data shows effectiveness up to 90%.
Considering that the CDC reported 7.3% of deaths last week were caused by the flu alone, it may be worth considering getting the flu shot this year. Plus, the flu is hitting a lot earlier than usual this year, making it all the more urgent to seriously consider getting the shot to protect yourself and your family.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.