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    Flu vaccination myths and misconceptions

    MYTH: ”My flu shot gave me the flu.”

    • You cannot catch the flu by getting the flu shot. The viruses inside the vaccine are dead and can’t infect you.
    • Other viruses can have the same symptoms as influenza. You may have caught one of these viruses near the time you were vaccinated.
    • Or you may have been infected by a strain of the flu virus not covered by the current year’s influenza vaccine. Each year’s vaccine is different and may not cover all the strains that are circulating.
    • People often call a cold or other minor illness “the flu,” but there are differences. Influenza virus infection can have serious consequences. That’s why we recommend vaccinating most people—it’s the most effective way to protect yourself.

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    MYTH: “I never get the flu, so I don’t need the vaccine.”

    • A recent medical study showed that half of the people infected with the flu virus didn’t even know they were sick because they had such mild symptoms. Still, they could spread the virus to others.
    • Even though you don’t have flu symptoms, you can be infected and spread the virus for up to a week.

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    MYTH: ”The flu shot always has side effects.”

    • The biggest side effect of the flu shot is redness, swelling and soreness at the injection site. This occurs in only 15 to 20 percent of people who get the shot. These symptoms last only a couple of days.
    • Fever, chills and muscle pain occur in less than one percent (1 in 100) of people receiving a flu shot.
    • Allergic reactions to the flu shot are rare and usually relate to the egg protein used to create the vaccine.

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    MYTH: “I can’t have the flu shot because I am pregnant.”

    • The Centers for Disease Control recommends a flu shot for all women who are pregnant during flu season. (Pregnant women should not receive the nasal spray vaccine.)
    • If a pregnant woman gets the flu, she is four times more likely to need hospitalization than a woman with flu who is not pregnant.
    • It is safe for you to get a seasonal flu shot any time during your pregnancy.

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