FALSE. The flu (influenza) shot is made up of inactivated (dead) flu virus. It does not contain any live influenza virus, so you can’t get the flu from the flu shot. Some people report soreness at the injection site while others report a headache, itching, fatigue, aches or fever, but these symptoms should go away within a day or two. The flu lasts much longer.
If you got the flu shot last year, you don’t need to get it again.
FALSE. You need a flu shot every year. Flu viruses are always changing. Each year’s flu vaccine is made to protect from viruses that are most likely to cause disease that year. A flu shot protects you from three or four different flu types.
You can’t die from flu.
FALSE. Each year, thousands of people in the United States die from flu, and many more are hospitalized. Children with special health care needs are especially vulnerable to complications from flu.
Flu can be spread by coughing, sneezing and close contact with someone who has flu.
TRUE. Sneezing and coughing spreads the flu. It is easy to catch flu if you are close to someone who has it.
Children have the highest risk of getting flu.
TRUE. Anyone can get flu, but the risk of getting flu is highest among children.
The best way to avoid getting flu is to stay home.
FALSE. The best protection from flu and its complications is the flu shot. It protects you from getting it and helps to decrease the spread of flu.
The flu shot is better than the flu nasal spray.
TRUE and FALSE. Only the flu shot is recommended for pregnant woman and individuals with certain health conditions (such as asthma, etc.). Some individuals prefer the flu nasal spray (which contains a live but weakened version of the flu), but it is not recommended for pregnant women or certain individuals. Check with your health care provider before deciding if you or your child should get the nasal spray or the shot.
Once you get the flu shot, you are protected from flu immediately.
FALSE. After getting the flu shot, it takes about two weeks to develop protection from flu. Then, the protection lasts several months to a year.
Flu can make some people much sicker than others.
TRUE. Flu can make certain people seriously sick. They include young children, pregnant women, people age 65 and older, people with certain health conditions (eg. heart, lung or kidney disease), and people with a weakened immune system. Flu can be especially dangerous for children with developmental disabilities.
So, how did you do? Hopefully, you will see that getting a flu shot is very important and you will get yours soon. I got mine and a purple bandage!