As flu season rapidly approaches, doctors across the country are urging parents to get their families vaccinated.
The 2017-2018 flu season was the deadliest the United States has seen in four decades with over 80,000 flu-related deaths, and more than 900,000 hospital visits. Last year’s 2018-2019 flu season was the longest in a decade lasting a total of 21 weeks.
Despite the deaths of 110 children in the U.S. who contracted the flu last year, a new study shows that parents are more likely to forgo the flu shot because of several misconceptions about the vaccine, one being that the flu shot actually gives you the flu.
Flu Shot Myths
Researchers from the Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital recently conducted a study to evaluate parents’ attitudes about the flu shot.
“We know that there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about the flu,” coauthor Jean Moorjani said in a statement. “In this day and age we have so many ways to get information, so if anybody has questions or concerns, we recommend they talk to a doctor they trust to get the right information about what’s best to protect themselves and their families.”
The study surveyed 700 adults in America and found that more than 50 percent of parents with children under the age of 18 believe their child can get the flu from the flu shot.
A third of those surveyed said they believe the shot does not protect against the flu, while 28 percent believe that it can cause autism.
“After extensive studies, we know that the flu vaccine is safe,” Moorjani said. “You cannot get autism from the flu vaccine. It is not a conspiracy for doctors to recommend the flu vaccine. Doctors recommend it because we know — based on science, research and facts — that it is the best way to protect yourself and your family against the flu.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the flu vaccine contains strains of the flu virus that have been “inactivated” or killed, meaning it is not infectious, cannot give you the flu virus, but will work to produce an immune response without causing infection.
“The parts of the virus that are used in the vaccine are completely dead, so you cannot get the flu from the flu shot,” Moorjani assured. “It takes time for your body to get strong and ready for flu season, which is why we recommend everybody get the shot as soon as they can. If you are infected with the flu shortly after getting your flu shot, your body may not be able to fight it off.”
A Public Service Announcement
As we gear up for yet another flu season, a casual reminder is making its way around the internet to further disprove this common flu shot myth.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Colombus, Ohio took to Facebook with a post about the flu vaccine from one of their urgent care doctors.
“The evening after getting my flu shot, I felt chilly and achy. Took my temperature and found it to be 101.1 F. It topped out at 102.4 F.”
An awesome post about the flu vaccine from one of our Urgent Care doctors: The evening after getting my flu shot, I felt…