5 Unsubstantiated Claims About Flu Vaccines

Every year, with the approach of winter, advertising stickers appear in pharmacies with the possibility of immunization against the flu. The vaccines are of different types, and their prices are attractive and almost everyone, even in Bulgaria, can afford them.

Influenza, also known as influenza, is divided into two types – influenza type A and influenza type B.

Every year during the fall and winter months, this easily contagious virus begins to spread among the public through all sorts of places – city transport or doorknobs, through sneezing or nasal secretions, through shaking hands, in the office, at school and a bunch of other places in all kinds of other ways.

This acute infectious disease is manifested by headache, high fever, weakness, muscle and joint pain, severe general malaise, sometimes nausea.

The infected person has no desire to get out of bed and this has a bad effect on the psyche. If things go well, after about a week a person begins to recover, but the consequences can last quite a long time after that.

Many people take this dangerous disease only as an inconvenience that will cause them temporary discomfort. And the truth is completely different.

Influenza kills a large number of people every year, and the risk of dying from the flu is much greater than catching one of the most infamous diseases of recent times – Ebola.

In years of major pandemics, up to half a million deaths have occurred. Although immunization is strongly recommended, many people still view the possibility with distrust.

Here are 5 baseless and even false excuses you are most likely using to not get a flu shot:

1. “Vaccines are dangerous and give children autism.” One of the reasons people avoid flu shots is the widespread propaganda in the media, especially on the Internet, where anyone can say anything without arguing for his words.

Opponents of vaccines have instilled serious fear and distrust in Western society. In 1998, a British study by Andrew Wakefield attempted to show a link between vaccines and autism.

Although the study focused on childhood vaccinations, fear quickly spread to other types of vaccines.

Regardless of the fact that the study was finally discredited and declared false, the misinformation persists, fueled by Hollywood celebrities such as Jenny McCarthy, Bill Meyer and Jim Carrey.

2. “I got a shot once and I don’t think it worked.” Some people believe they got a flu shot and it didn’t work. This could actually happen, although the probability is small.

Flu vaccines are different each year based on health experts’ best guesses as to which flu strain will be most prevalent that season.

It’s not an exact science, and while the predictions are often right, sometimes scientists get it wrong. When this happens, the vaccine you have doesn’t protect you against that strain that’s actually spreading, so you can get the flu even though you’re immune.

However, the vaccine is effective at least 60% of the time, which is much better than not getting vaccinated.

In many cases, people mistakenly think they have the flu when they actually just have a more severe cold. This is because the symptoms are quite similar in many ways to those of the flu.

Needless to say, flu and cold are two completely different things, and the flu vaccine will not prevent colds, which are caused by completely different viruses (over 200 types, which is the main reason why there is no cold vaccine).

You can usually tell the difference between a cold and the flu in the high fever, body aches, and the speed at which the actual flu symptoms start. Other people claim to have been immunized against the flu, but caught the “stomach flu”.

The truth is, there is no such thing as the stomach flu. Vomiting, nausea and diarrhea are not the usual symptoms of the flu, and the disease proceeds in a completely different way.

The so-called stomach flu is caused, most likely by norovirus, but not by influenza. The flu vaccine will not protect you from norovirus because gastrointestinal upset is not the flu.

3. “I’m allergic to eggs.” This excuse isn’t completely false, but it’s definitely being misused. While flu vaccines are prepared in eggs, only those people who have very severe anaphylactic reactions to eggs should avoid the vaccine.

Minor allergic reactions to eggs such as hives or mild rashes are not dangerous and are not a reason to avoid the vaccine. In such a case, the vaccinated are observed for 30 minutes after the vaccine is administered.

4. “I don’t get the flu.” Many claim that they “never get the flu.” The first answer to this question is “never say never.” This could be your unlucky year!

Some people become infected with the flu virus and for some reason do not suffer from symptoms (up to 30% of virus carriers show no symptoms).

Despite the lack of symptoms, they can still be carriers of the virus, and as such, threaten those around them. Contagion of children, pregnant women and vulnerable elderly people is quite risky and should be avoided.

Many people believe that flu vaccination is risky for pregnant women, but in fact it is even recommended because they are among the most vulnerable group in society.

5. “The flu shot can make you get the flu.” The idea that you can actually get the flu from a vaccine is another myth that has been around for many years. This is simply not true.

Grop vaccines are made from flu viruses that are inactive (basically dead viruses). There are flu shots in nasal spray form.

They are prepared with live viruses, but they are modified to remove the part of the virus that makes you really sick and they are also non-contagious.

Some people develop mild arm soreness or mild symptoms, but these go away on their own without treatment very quickly and are very far from the true force of the flu.

If you get sick right after getting the flu shot, know that it wasn’t the vaccine that was to blame, but that you were infected before.

The vaccine needs time, usually up to about two weeks, to fully immunize you, so it’s possible to be infected within this window of time from a sick person or via objects contaminated with the virus.

The vaccine does not kill flu viruses that are already present in your body. It simply prevents future infections.

Children and the elderly are most at risk of death or serious complications from the flu. Vaccination is the best way to ensure maximum protection against complications and development of cardiovascular and other problems.

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