With flu season around the corner, it’s time to take the necessary steps to stay healthy. One step is separating myths about the flu from the facts.
“When caring for patients, we strive to deliver patient-centered care every time,” said Dr. Ashley Saucier, a primary care physician at Augusta University Family Medicine. “This means sharing the most up-to-date evidence about a treatment and letting you decide what is best for you.”
MYTH: Getting a flu shot is all you need to do to protect yourself from the flu.
FACT: Being vaccinated can’t guarantee that you won’t get the flu. You should take additional steps to protect yourself, such as avoiding people who have the flu, washing your hands often and maintaining a healthy lifestyle to support your immune system. That includes eating right, exercising, getting enough sleep and managing stress.
MYTH: A flu shot can give you the flu.
FACT: No, a flu vaccine can’t cause flu illness. The flu shot is made from either “inactivated” viruses that aren’t infectious or no viruses at all. People who develop flu-like symptoms after receiving a flu shot were going to get sick anyway. Their illness is not a result of having received the vaccine.
MYTH: You should wait to get vaccinated so your immunity lasts through the end of flu season.
FACT: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that flu vaccination begin soon after the vaccine becomes available, if possible by October. Immunity lasts through a full flu season for most people. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating, it’s not too late to get vaccinated, even in January or later.
“Remember, prevention is the best medicine.”
–Ashley Saucier, MD
Get a flu shot
Now that you know the facts, take the next step in protecting yourself and your family from the flu: Get vaccinated.* Augusta University Health makes getting a flu shot quick and easy. Call 706-721-2273 (CARE) or visit augustahealth.org for more information.
* People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs, as well as certain other individuals, should not be vaccinated without first talking to their doctors.