Flu Shot Health Risks: Myth vs. Reality

How much do you know about the flu vaccine? How much of what you think you know is myth as opposed to reality? Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions out there, and these misconceptions are leading some people to make uninformed decisions about the annual flu shot.

Myth #1: Getting the Flu Shot Can Give You the Flu

Reality: You cannot get the flu from the flu shot. While it is true that certain flu vaccines contain strains of the flu virus, these strains are “inactivated,” which means that they cannot give you the flu. Other flu shots are made with proteins from the flu virus which are “attenuated,” or weakened to the extent that they are not capable of causing an infection.

Myth #2: If You Take a Multivitamin You Don’t Need a Flu Shot

Reality: While taking a daily multivitamin can help you maintain your overall health (along with a balanced diet, exercise and other health-promoting habits), it will not protect you against the flu. No matter how healthy you are, if you are exposed to the virus and you have not been immunized, you will be at risk for contracting influenza.

Myth #3: The Flu Shot Can Cause Autism in Young Children

Reality: This is a dangerous myth that has been widely discredited. As stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Many studies have looked at whether there is a relationship between vaccines and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). To date, the studies continue to show that vaccines are not associated with ASD.”

Myth #4: Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Get the Flu Shot

Reality: The CDC does not have any recommendations specific to pregnant women and the flu shot. In the CDC’s own words, “Pregnant women should get a flu shot . . . . Flu vaccines given during pregnancy help protect both the mother and her baby from flu.”

Myth #5: The Flu Shot Isn’t Effective Enough to Make Getting Vaccinated Worthwhile

Reality: While it is true that the flu shot’s effectiveness has been limited in recent years, the CDC’s position continues to be that it is far safer to get the flu shot than to take your chances without getting immunized (unless advised otherwise by your doctor). Getting the flu can be dangerous, and reducing your chances of getting the flu – even if you are not immunized entirely – is worth the modest time commitment and effort involved.

Myth #6: You Only Need to Get the Flu Shot Once

Reality: Each year, the CDC recommends a flu shot that is specific to the strain (or strains) that researchers believe are likely to be most prevalent during the impending flu season. There is not currently a “universal” flu vaccine, and a flu shot that is effective one year may not be effective the next.

Pain After a Flu Shot? Contact Us to Discuss Your Legal Rights

While there are many myths about the flu shot, one truth is that flu shots have been known to cause injuries in a small percentage of recipients. This includes shoulder injuries related to vaccine administration (SIRVA). If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with any type of flu shot-related injury, we encourage you to call 202-800-1711 or contact us online for a free consultation about your legal rights under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).

Leah Durant Bio

Experienced litigation attorney Leah Durant focuses on representing clients in complex vaccine litigation matters. Leah Durant is the owner and principal attorney of the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, a litigation firm based in Washington, DC. Leah Durant and her staff represent clients and their families who suffer from vaccine-related injuries, adverse vaccine reactions and vaccine-related deaths. The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC is dedicated to assisting individuals in recovering the highest level of compensation as quickly and efficiently as possible. To learn more, contact vaccine attorney Leah Durant today.

Categories: Flu Vaccine

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