With flu season rapidly approaching, there are a few important things you need to know. Perhaps most important is to learn about the common myths and why they’re wrong. Here’s a quick lesson to get you started.
MYTH: The Flu Vaccine Can Get You Sick
This is perhaps one of the most widespread, and harmful, flu season myths that is perpetuated by countless people. The flu vaccine is created using an inactive virus that physically cannot transmit the virus. The purpose of a flu vaccine is to help your body create antibodies to fight the real virus, should it come knocking.
MYTH: The Flu Vaccine Works Right Away
Yet another harmful myth. If you get sick after receiving the flu vaccine, you were going to get sick anyway. The flu vaccine takes up to three weeks to reach maximum efficiency, which means the earlier you get this year’s vaccine, the better.
MYTH: Healthy People Don’t Need Vaccines
Even if you’re healthy and not in the recommended age range to receive the vaccine, you could still catch and transmit the disease. A flu vaccine could help prevent both of those things.
MYTH: The Flu is Only a Bad Cold
If the flu was a cold, it would be called a cold. Influenza is a completely different virus. Although it may have similar symptoms at first, this disease can be fatal if you don’t seek proper care. And even if it’s not fatal, it will take a much greater toll on your body — and on the sick days you’ll need to take — than any cold.
MYTH: You Don’t Need a Flu Vaccine Every Year
Unfortunately, the flu virus changes every so often, and vaccines are carefully formulated every year to provide protection against the most common current strains. In short, this means the vaccine you got last year isn’t necessarily going to be effective this time around. This is why it’s important to get a flu shot every year.
The flu often requires visits to urgent care, as it falls into the category of minor injuries and illnesses that they treat. Urgent care clinics typically have seven exam rooms and shorter wait times, which means there’s no issue in treating you. Urgent medical needs like the flu should be seen to immediately, and urgent care is one of the best ways to do it.