Doctors have said time and time again how important vaccinating both children AND adults are when it comes to the dreaded flu.
And surprisingly enough, it was found in a new survey from Orlando Health that over half of parents with children under the age of 18 actually believe that their child can get the flu from the flu vaccine.
“I’m flabbergasted,” said an infectious disease specialist and professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, William Schaffner, MD.
Schaffner tells Yahoo Lifestyle:
“I and many others have been saying for over 20 years that you can’t get the flu from the flu vaccine. I don’t know how to say it any louder. You cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine. That’s a myth.”
Confession time, my mom told me that myth growing up….
“It’s impossible for the flu vaccine to give you the flu,” says Amesh A. Adalja, MD, infectious disease expert and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, chimes in.
“All of the components, whether it’s the nasal or injectable vaccine, do not constitute the official flu virus.”
Well, I am sold, folks. Say no more! Walgreens, watch out — I am coming for you!!!
In fact, the nasal spray contains a weakened flu virus that cannot replicate —- which means it cannot make you sick. The flu shot “just contains parts of the virus,” Adalja states.
If you are still foggy on the idea, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it best:
“The vaccine causes antibodies to develop in your body about two weeks after you’ve been vaccinated. These antibodies then protect you against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine.”
Pretty straightforward, eh?
The CDC goes on to say that the actual virus that goes into a vaccine is based off research that strongly suggests they will be the most common during the upcoming season.
And as this changes yearly – paired with our body’s decreased immunity – that my friends is the reason behind WHY doctors are so adamant about us getting that free flu shot each and every year.
It all makes sense now…
Schaffner says there quite a few reasons why some individuals believe – mistakenly – that the flu vaccine gives one the flu. Keep in mind that the flu vaccine takes about two weeks to kick in and most people get the vaccination during the cold and flu season so it’s very feasible one could pick up a virus or even the flu itself either before or right after one gets a shot.
“Obviously, there are colds and the flu going around,” Schaffner states.
“If you get your flu vaccine on Monday and on Wednesday you start sneezing, you did not start to develop the flu from the vaccine. You likely picked up a cold somewhere, and this was a coincidence.”
There are also minimal side effects of the vaccine which include redness, swelling, and soreness where you received the shot (if you don’t do the nasal spray) but “a small percent of individuals, around one or two percent, can get a fever that can last for 24 or rarely 48 hours,” Schaffner says.
“That’s also not the flu. It’s your body responding to the vaccine and starting to make protection.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly suggests parents have their children vaccinated against the flu “as soon as it is available” and in a perfect world, preferably before the end of October.
The professionals want parents to know and understand just how important vaccinating their kids is against the flu.
“There’s no reason to be nervous about getting your children vaccinated against the flu,” Adalja shares. “You should be nervous about not getting your children vaccinated. Eighty percent of children who die from the flu are not vaccinated. By not vaccinating your child, you are putting your child’s life in danger.”
Parents, if you love your kid, and we know you do — go get them a flu shot. Plain and simple.
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