The best protection from getting the flu is to get the flu vaccine. There are people who choose not to get the flu shot and risk infection. There are many reasons why people choose not to get the flu shot. Below are some of the most common misconceptions along with why it’s wrong to think that way.
I am young and healthy. Everyone can get the flu, it doesn’t matter how healthy you are. The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get the flu vaccine.
I never get sick. Never say never. The flu season is unpredictable. One year it may be mild and another year it may hit early and be intense.
It doesn’t matter if I get the flu, I’m tough. While you don’t mind the symptoms that come with the flu or getting sick enough to miss work or school, what about the people who can’t get the vaccine due to medical reasons or babies who are too young to get the vaccine. Vaccines don’t just protect the people getting it, they also protect the people around them.
The last time I got the flu shot, it made me sick. You cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine. The flu shot is a killed virus and the nasal spray is a weakened live virus. Some people may get a cold virus shortly after getting the vaccine and automatically think it is from the vaccine itself. Other people may have mild side effects from the vaccine, but they do not last very long and will not develop into the flu.
My insurance doesn’t cover the flu vaccine. Many health insurance plans are now required to cover the cost of a preventable service, like the flu vaccine, under the Affordable Care Act. For children who are uninsured or underinsured there is the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. For people 65 and older, Medicare will pay for all or part of the flu vaccine.
Along with getting the flu vaccine there are several other ways to prevent the spread of the virus. Cover your coughs and sneezes, wash your hands frequently, and stay home when you are sick to prevent the spread of germs.
People should get the flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available. Check with your local provider to see when it is and schedule your flu shot!