Seasonal influenza (flu) comes to every year and rumors and old myths start spreading amongst people. It becomes very difficult to separate facts from myths and so here we are to break down the common myths and misbeliefs. This article highlights 13 common myths and facts about seasonal flu that you need to be aware of:
Myths about the Seasonal Flu
The Flu Vaccine Protects Against COVID-19
Myth – The flu shot is not designed to directly protect against COVID-19. However, many types of research suggest that a yearly flu shot may be associated with the reduction of risk of severe complications such as sepsis, stroke, and deep vein thrombosis in people infected with COVID-19.
You must remember that the flu vaccine is not an alternative to the COVID-19 vaccine. So, the best thing you could do to protect yourself from both flu and COVID-19 is to get both vaccine shots. As COVID-19 and flu have many symptoms in common and it’s very difficult to differentiate between them, you must receive both vaccines to reduce the risk of illness or infection. This way, you can reduce the burden on the existing healthcare systems.
Also, you must wear your face masks when in public as this will help you and others stay safe and protected amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As one of the leading facemasks suppliers in the USA, we offer high-quality yet affordable face masks that can provide you with effective protection against the virus.
You Don’t Need the Flu Vaccine If You’re Young and Fit
Myth – It’s possible for anyone to get the flu. Having the flu feels more awful than having a common cold. It can be even fatal for infants, senior citizens, and people with a weak immune system or chronic diseases. Getting the flu shot reduces the risk of getting the flu, makes the severity of symptoms less, and makes you less infectious to others.
If you ever feel you don’t need the flu shot, think of getting one to protect people around you including the ones who can’t be vaccinated for certain medical reasons. If most of the infected, as well as healthy people, get the flu vaccine, we can build herd immunity which mitigates the risk for all of us, including those who aren’t vaccinated.
Kids Need a Special Flu Vaccine
Myth – Children are likely to get the seasonal flu from 6 months of age. Kids between 6 months and 8 years will require 2 doses of the flu vaccine for effective protection. If your child is getting the flu vaccine for the first time or has received only one dose in the past, he/she will have to get 2 doses of the flu vaccine this season.
So, you should get your child vaccinated with the first dose as soon as possible, and then later with the second dose after 28 days.
Although many children choose the needle-less and nasal spray vaccine option, this is not preferable for everyone. You may consult with your child’s doctor to find the best option for your child.
You Can Avoid the Flu Shot If You’ve Received One Earlier
Myth – As per the CDC, everyone above 6 months of age must receive a flu vaccine annually. Various strains of the influenza virus are dominant every year. Therefore, if you still haven’t been vaccinated against one of this season’s strains, you’re exposed to them.
Antibiotics Are Necessary to Recover from the Flu
Myth – Antibiotics treat contagious illnesses caused by bacteria. Influenza or flu is a virus, and therefore, no antibiotics can help you recover. Antivirals may help after you have been diagnosed, however, they are highly effective if taken within 48 hours of the flu symptoms appearing.
They are generally for high-risk persons and are not necessary to get well from the flu if you’re healthy. You will feel much better if you treat your symptoms and improve your immune system.
The Flu Vaccine Can Give the Flu to Individuals
Myth – This is completely a myth as the flu shot cannot give you the flu. It’s because the version of the flu virus in the vaccine is inactivated or not a virus at all. It is designed to make your body think it’s the flu.
However, you could experience a bit under the weather once you get the flu vaccine because it triggers your immune system. You can have mild side effects such as fever, headache, nausea, redness, muscle aches, feel soreness, or swelling near the injection area.
These are normal side effects that should lessen on their own in a day. If your flu symptoms persist or are severe, contact your doctor immediately.
Pregnant Women Require a Special Flu Vaccine.
Myth – The CDC suggests that all flu vaccinations are safe for pregnant ladies, including those having preservatives. The CDC also advises all pregnant women to get the flu shot for the protection of themselves and their babies from potential risks and complications.
It’s Better to Wait Until the Flu Outbreaks to Get Vaccinated
Myth – It’s essential to protect yourself against the seasonal flu before the outbreak commences and it takes about a couple of weeks for your body to develop immunity to the virus after getting the flu shot. So, it’s best to get vaccinated as early as possible before the first seasonal flu outbursts.
According to the CDC, older people above 65 years of age should get the high-dose flu vaccine to activate a stronger immune response that will last longer throughout the season.
The Flu Vaccines Are Very Costly
Myth – The flu shot is covered by most health insurance plans as a preventive service. If your flu vaccine is not covered by insurance plans, though, many pharmacies and clinics will provide it at an affordable cost.
It’s Too Late to Receive the Flu Vaccine
Myth – While it is wise to get vaccinated as early as possible, it is still advantageous to get the flu vaccine later in the season. The influenza virus may prevail as late as May and the flu vaccine can keep you safe.
Facts about the Seasonal Flu
You Can Get Flu and COVID-19 Vaccine at One time
Fact – COVID-19 and flu are both infectious respiratory illnesses but are caused by different viruses. However, you can suffer from both flu and COVID-19 at the same time. While public health officials are still studying how common this is, receiving a flu vaccine can prevent you from getting the flu and protect you from suffering from the two viruses at a time.
Practicing Social Distancing and Wearing Face Masks Can Prevent Flu from Spreading
Fact – As the seasonal flu and COVID-19 are spread in similar ways, the precautions that we follow to reduce the spread of COVID-19 can also help prevent flu from spreading. This is why there was such mild flu in winter 2020-2021. Wearing face masks, washing hands frequently, and practicing social distancing are very helpful in preventing yourself and others from getting infected.
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The Flu Vaccine Provides the Best Protection Against the Flu
Fact – The flu vaccine is one of the best ways to gain protection against influenza. To prevent the spread or contraction of the flu, use the best practices: wear your face masks when you come in close contact with others, spend less time around sick people, practice hand hygiene frequently, and stay at home if you have flu-like symptoms.
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Whether it is the flu or COVID-19, it is important to get vaccinated, continue wearing face masks, wash your hands frequently, and maintain social distancing. As one of the trusted PPE and facemasks suppliers in the USA, we provide the best-quality PPE items including face masks that provide effective protection. If you’re looking to buy PPE online, you may contact us right away!
Q.1. When is the best time to get the flu shot?
The flu season occurs from October to May in the United States. Most of the cases appear from late December to early March. It is wise to get the flu shot as early as possible in the flu season, ideally in late October.
Q.2. How long does the flu vaccine last?
The flu vaccine provides protection against influenza for about 6 months. One should get the flu shot annually and the best time to receive the vaccine is the end of October.
Q.3. How long the flu is transmissible?
People infected with the flu are highly contagious in the initial 3-4 days after their sickness begins. Some young and healthy adults can infect others beginning one day before flu-like symptoms develop and up to 5-7 days after falling ill.
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