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Why You Need to Be Thinking About That Flu Shot

JACKSON, MISS– Flu season will be here before you know it. That means it is time to think about getting your flu shot. 

Whether it’s the hassle of making the appointment and taking the time to go to the doctor, or you’ve heard bad things about the shot, there are numerous reasons why people don’t get their flu shot.

Dr. Daniel Vanarske with Mississippi Asthma and Allergy says there are three reasons to forget the myths and make your appointment for your flu shot.

“Number one, it can help reduce the likelihood that they themselves will get the flu,” says Vanarske, “secondly, if you do get the flu, but you got the flu shot, symptoms will be milder and not last as long.”

Vanarske says the third reason is more than just preventing the virus for yourself.

“It helps those around you. If you’re vaccinated, you’re less likely to pass the virus on to someone else.”

Dr. Vanarske says there have been different myths in the past that have kept people from getting their flu shot. The main myth is that if you get the flu shot, you’ll get the flu from the shot.

“There is no active virus in the shot,” says Vanarske, “it is a killed flu. You can’t get the flu from the flu shot.”

Vanarske says that you can have side effects from the shot, such as fatigue, low grade fever, and just generally not feeling well. But these symptoms pass. There have also been cases in which a person was already coming down with a cold or flu-like virus and the side effects from the flu shot made them worse.

“That’s why we ask if you’ve had any symptoms before we give you the shot,” says Vanarske.

Another reason people do not get the flu shot is they believe it doesn’t actually prevent the flu.

“The flu shot is the (Center for Disease Control’s) best guess for how the flu will be that year,” says Vanarske, “so it isn’t as accurate as we would like. But it still covers about seventy percent of the flu.”

Call your primary doctor today or your local health department to see about getting your flu shot before flu season actually strikes.

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