The Flu Shot - 5 Myths Busted


The Region of Waterloo has started their annual flu shot campaign. Seasonal influenza, the flu, is highly contagious respiratory infection which affects the lungs, throat and nose. Our flu season runs from November to April. It usually takes 7-10 days for a healthy person to recover from the flu, although for the elderly and the those with chronic illnesses can suffer severe complications like pneumonia. Canada sees about 3,500 deaths each year from the flu.

I often hear people talk about why they don't get the flu vaccine. Here are 5 myths busted about the vaccine

  • The flu vaccine gave me the flu last time I got it.
    The vaccine cannot give you the flu. It's not a live vaccine. You may have a headache or sore arm for a day or so, or you may already have been getting sick when you got the shot.
  • Pregnant women shouldn't get the vaccine.
    Healthy pregnant woman are on the priority list for vaccination.
  • I have an egg allergy and can't be vaccinated.
    Most egg allergic people can be vaccinated with the traditional vaccine with some conditions. Those with severe allergy to eggs, chicken or other parts of the vaccine should speak to their doctor before going for a vaccination.
  • The flu shot doesn't work.
    Last year the flu shot protected about 60% of people who got it.
  • I don't need it, I never get sick.
    You can have the flu without showing any symptoms (carrier) and infect people. According to the CDC healthy adults can spread the flu a day before their symptoms start, and up to 7 days after getting sick.

The vaccine is free in Ontario. You can get it at the Health Unit clinics, your doctor's office and at many pharmacies. Consider protecting yourself and others this flu season.

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