Common flu myths busted

Flu myths busted

(NBC News)  Just under half of all Americans got the flu vaccine last year, and some doctors say common myths about the vaccine may be one reason why many choose not to get a flu shot.

One of the most common ones:  "You can catch the flu from the vaccine".

Scientists say that's absolutely false.

"It will never give you the flu, it doesn't work that way," says pediatrician Dr. Daniel McGee.  "You can get muscle aches and a little bit of fever after the flu shot but that just means it's working, that doesn't mean it's giving you the flu."

If you do get sick after a shot, doctors say it's likely a different virus, not true influenza.

Another myth: "I've already had the flu, I don't need the shot this year."

"The flu virus mutates every year so it's not the same virus circulating in the community this year that was there last year.  So you need a new shot every year in order to get protection," Dr. McGee points out.

Last but not least: "My child is too young to get the flu shot".

"We recommend that everyone over the age of 6 months get a flu shot this year and every year," says Centers for Disease Control director Tom Frieden.

Last year's vaccine proved to be about 50 percent effective.

Although flu is unpredictable, the CDC is hopeful this year's vaccine is a good match for the upcoming flu season.

Also, this year the CDC is recommending against using the FluMist nasal vaccine, saying the spray has not shown to be effective in protecting people from the flu virus.

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