Facts and Fiction about Flu Vaccines

With the advent of the flu vaccine, there are many misconceptions surrounding it which have caused a lot of misunderstanding and unwarranted fears.

Fiction 1. Flu is just as bad as a common cold.

Fact – No, a bad bout of flu is even worse than a heavy cold. Flu appears suddenly and often severely. It will be a combo of aching muscles, chills, fever and headaches with accompanying cough and sore throat.

Fiction 2.Your flu is the result of the flu vaccine.

Fact – No, it is not as the injected flu vaccine given to you contains inactivated flu viruses, so it can’t give you flu. Feeling sore, a slight rise in temperature and aching muscles for a couple of days afterwards are common reactions to the shot.

Fiction 3. Flu like other viruses can be treated with antibiotics.

Fact – No, antibiotics only work against bacteria but flu is caused by a virus. Antivirals cannot cure flu, but can make it less infectious to others and reduce the length of time you may be ill.

Fiction 4. Once you’ve had the flu vaccine, you have lifetime immunity.

Fact – No, as the viruses causing the flu changes every year, so you need a vaccination each year that matches the new viruses.

Fiction 5. Pregnant women cannot have flu jab because it will affect the baby

Fact – No, pregnant women should have the vaccine in whatever stage of pregnancy as they could catch the flu and harm the baby.

Fiction 6. The flu jab is not a protection against swine flu

Fact – No, for this year, the flu vaccine is a protection against three different flu viruses, including the H1N1 swine flu virus.

Fiction 7. Children cannot have the flu vaccine

Fact – No, children over the age of six months are eligible for a flu vaccine on the NHS. Children from aged 6 months to 2 years are given injected flu vaccine while children from aged 2 to 18 are given nasal sprays.

Fiction 8. The flu administered last autumn is good until this year.

Fact –No, you do another one as the flu is caused by several viruses, you will only be protected by the immunity you developed naturally against one of them. You could go on to catch another strain, so it’s recommended you have the jab even if you’ve recently had flu.

Fiction 9. Since you already missed having the flu jab in October, it’s too late to have it later in the year

Fact – No, it’s not too late. It’s better to have the flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available. Since we don’t know when flu will strike, the sooner you have the vaccine the better.

Fiction 10. Vitamin C can prevent flu

Fact – No, it does not prevent flu. Vitamin C is good for your cold. Vitamin C is an important vitamin and antioxidant that the body uses to stay strong and healthy. It maintains the bones, muscle, and blood vessels; as well as assists in the formation of collagen and helps the body absorb iron. But is does not prevent flu.

Finding a place to have a flu shot is no longer a problem. Rite Aid is your source for everything you need to avoid, treat and manage the flu. Rite Aid helps in protecting yourself and your family during flu season with flu shots that are administered by specially trained and Certified Immunizing Pharmacists. No need for appointment; just drop in anytime for you and your family to get vaccinated.