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3rd December 2020  •  Read 0 times

The truth about the flu vaccine

The flu is a highly infectious illness which comes around each winter and spreads rapidly. Although the flu vaccine has been around for over 80 years, albeit varying versions, there are still many myths that are discouraging people from getting the vaccination.

Below are six common myths and the truth behind them.

1. Having flu is just like having a heavy cold

A bad bout of flu is much worse than a heavy cold. Flu symptoms come on suddenly and sometimes severely. They include fever, chills, headaches and aching muscles, as well as a cough and sore throat. You’re likely to spend two or three days in bed. If you get complications caused by flu, you could become seriously ill.

2. Having the flu vaccine gives you flu

No, it doesn’t. The injected flu vaccine that is given to adults contains inactivated flu viruses, so it can’t give you flu. Your arm may feel a bit sore where you were injected, and some people get a slight temperature and aching muscles for a couple of days afterwards, but other reactions are very rare.

The children’s flu nasal spray vaccine contains live but weakened flu viruses that will not give your child flu.

3. Once you’ve had the flu vaccine, you’re protected for life

No, you aren’t. The viruses that cause flu can change every year, so you need a vaccination each year that matches the new viruses. The vaccine usually provides protection for the duration of the flu season that year.

4. I’m pregnant, so I shouldn’t have the flu jab because it will affect my baby

You should have the vaccine whatever stage of pregnancy you are in. If you’re pregnant, you could get very ill if you get flu, which could also be bad for your baby. Having the jab can also protect your baby against flu after they’re born and during the early months of life.

5. I’ve had the flu already this autumn, so I don’t need the vaccination this year

If you’re in one of the at risk groups it is important that you still have the vaccination. Flu is caused by several viruses and you will only be protected by the immunity you developed naturally against one of them. You could go on to catch another strain, so it’s recommended you have the vaccination even if you’ve recently had flu. Additionally, what you thought was flu could have been something else.

6. Vitamin C can prevent flu

No, it can’t. Many people think that taking daily vitamin C supplements will stop them getting flu, but there’s no evidence to prove this.

We encourage you to have the flu vaccination, not only to protect yourselves, but to avoid the spread of the virus to family or friends who may be more vulnerable and at a greater risk of complications from the flu.

The flu vaccine is currently available here at OSD Healthcare. Please contact our team on 01442 331 900 for further information, stocks are limited so please book your appointment as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

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