As the region’s most trusted health care provider, we’re giving it to you straight. Consider these three flu facts:
Flu Fact No. 1
Neither the flu vaccine shot, nor the flu vaccine nasal spray, can give you the flu. The shot form contains dead viruses, and the nasal spray contains weakened viruses. If you have flu-like symptoms after receiving your vaccine, you may have been exposed to a virus other than the flu. In addition, you may have been exposed to the flu virus before getting your vaccine or in the two weeks it takes for the vaccine to take effect.
Flu Fact No. 2
Don’t discount the seriousness of the flu. So far this flu season, more than 6,900 people have been admitted to hospitals in the U.S., and the first flu-related pediatric death occurred in October. Everyone 6 months and older should get the vaccine.
Flu Fact No. 3
The flu vaccine works. Protection can vary but getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent the flu. Flu vaccines in the U.S. are based on worldwide surveillance of flu viruses, particularly in the southern hemisphere, where seasons are opposite of those here. Australia is experiencing its worst flu season in five years, a possible clue of what could potentially happen in the U.S.