Don’t Believe Any Flu Shot Myths This Year – Get Your Shot!
Getting your flu shot should be a priority for you on an annual basis. That’s because the flu virus changes every flu season, and so the vaccine must be adapted as well to fight the specific virus characteristics each year. In fact, it’s a good idea to schedule your flu shot as soon as it’s available because it takes about 10 days to build up your immunity.
With the 2022-2023 flu season officially underway, it’s time to re-educate yourself on the “truths” and “myths” of influenza. Through the past couple of years because of the pandemic, flu seasons have been milder because people have been wearing masks. People have also been paying closer attention to handwashing and keeping social distanced. But now that the public is being less attentive to these issues, health professionals are expecting the flu season for 2022 and into 2023 will probably be more severe than the last two years.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published recommendations for influenza prevention and treatment for children this flu season. It’s especially important for children to get their flu shots. A flu shot is recommended for anyone 6 months or older. These facts are useful for everyone to know. In addition to children, the vaccine is a key health consideration for people over 65 and anyone with a pre-existing condition, like asthma, diabetes, or heart disease. Pregnant women should also get the shot, because it protects both mom and baby (after birth) from the flu.
Whether the 2022 flu season brings more cases of the flu or not, one constant is the variety of myths that healthcare professionals must address about the flu annually. Among them are:
- The flu vaccine can make you sick. Here’s the truth: The live flu virus is NOT in the vaccine. And it’s proven to keep you (and others) from getting the flu. If you do come in contact with influenza, the flu shot will make your symptoms less severe.
- Those who are young and healthy don’t need to worry about getting the flu. Those who are young and healthy are just as vulnerable to getting the flu as people with lung problems or other underlying health issues. In brief, the at-risk population is everyone.
- I can only get the flu in the fall or winter. Doctors see the flu through summer during some years albeit at a much lower rate. Don’t assume you’ve escaped the flu’s grasp one year if you don’t get sick by late March.
- The flu is not much different from a cold. Some people get colds and the flu more often than others, which doctors can explain. But the truth is that the flu can be much more severe than a cold. It can progress quickly and those suffering from the flu can end up in the hospital.
Here at HAP, we offer free flu shots to all our members. To get yours, show your HAP ID card at your doctor’s office or visit a HAP-affiliated location such as
- Henry Ford Health System Medical Center
- CVS, Walgreens, or Rite Aid pharmacy
- Costco, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Meijer, Target, Save-Mor, VG’s, or Spartan store pharmacy
- Neighborhood pharmacies
Taking precautions and practicing good hygiene are truths that pay off. Many of the things we have done for two years to protect against COVID-19 also work for the flu.
- Wear a mask
- Avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth
- Practice social distancing
- Stay home if you are sick