Get The Facts: Common Flu Vaccine Myths

There are common misconceptions about the flu and the flu vaccine, including possible side effects or how long the vaccine is effective. To help you be more knowledgeable about the flu, we’ve compiled a list of some of the common flu vaccine myths and the facts that debunk them.

Myth: The flu isn’t so bad.

Fact: The flu can lead to serious illness, even in otherwise healthy people. At the very least, it can keep you out of work for several days.

Myth: The flu vaccine will make you sick.

Fact: The flu vaccine cannot give you the flu. You may feel mild side effects, such as a sore arm, low fever or achiness.

Myth: It’s too late in the season to get protection from the flu.

Fact: As long as flu season isn’t over, it’s not too late to get vaccinated. Flu season can last from fall until the spring.

Myth: The discomfort of getting a shot isn’t worth it.

Fact: The minor pain of a flu shot is nothing compared to suffering from the flu. Plus, you may be eligible to receive a nasal-spray vaccine in lieu of a shot. Ask your doctor if that is the right option for you.

Myth: If you got the vaccine last year, you don’t need another one.

Fact: Research shows that your body’s immunity from the flu vaccine declines throughout the year, so you likely don’t have enough immunity left to protect against the flu. You should get vaccinated each year.

Myth: The vaccine isn’t safe.

Fact: Flu vaccines have been given for more than 50 years and have a very good safety track record. Their safety is closely monitored each year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.

To share this knowledge with others, please download our Get The Facts: Common Flu Vaccine Myths fact sheet.