Myths About Flu Shots

By Katharine Paljug @kpaljug
October 20, 2017

Is one of these myths about flu shots stopping you from getting vaccinated? Flu vaccines are a safe way to keep you healthy. Here's why.

Around the world, doctors recommend that both children and adults receive a flu shot. But many people still do not get one because of misconceptions about the safety and effectiveness of flu vaccines.

Is one of these six myths about flu shots is stopping you from getting vaccinated? Read on to learn how flu shots can keep you, your family, and your community safe.


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Myth #1: Flu vaccines give you the flu

Flu shots work by exposing your body to an inactivated virus, which prompts your immune system to make flu-fighting antibodies. They do not make you sick, but simply trigger your immune system to start learning how to fight the flu virus.

Like all vaccines, flu shots can cause some side effects, such as:

  • Soreness, redness, or swelling where you got the shot
  • Low fever
  • Headache
  • Runny nose

After receiving a flu shot, your body can take a few weeks to build up immunity, and you can catch the flu in that time. In these cases, you developed flu from your environment, not from the shot itself. This is one of the reasons that you should be vaccinated early in flu season, rather than waiting and increasing your chance of catching the flu virus.


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March 20, 2020

Reviewed By:  

Janet O’Dell, RN