What to Know About the Flu Vaccine

Separate fact from fiction and discover answers to common myths.

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5 Things More Difficult Than Getting a Flu Shot (1:42)

Many people believe that flu vaccines do not work. Therefore, a lot of Americans are not getting vaccinated for it. Despite beliefs, Dr. David Geffen of UCLA claims that everyone should get vaccinated as soon as possible. Last year in the United States, there were 80,000 deaths from the flu. To prevent this from happening again, learn everything you need to know about the flu. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that the flu season runs from October to May. Since the flu strain is constantly changing, each year you should get a new flu shot. This way, your body will be best equipped to fight against the illness.

No vaccine is perfect. Yet, getting a vaccine that leaves you 50 percent protected is extremely effective. It can help shield yourself from getting more severe diseases. Depending on your age, your vaccine dosage may vary. Children who are six to eight years old may only need two doses of flu vaccine each year. People who are 65 years and older or people who have compromised immune systems could require a higher dosage as well. Aside from that, everyone else is required to get a single dose. Infectious disease specialist Dr. Alan Teage says, "The flu vaccine does not contain a live virus, so you can't get the flu from the shot".  If you are wondering why your body feels achy after receiving the vaccine, your body is preparing antibodies to fight the virus.

Dr. Teage states, "You can believe you are too healthy to get the flu all you want, but then that changes once you end up getting the flu by not getting vaccinated. Although younger healthier people are less likely to get the flu, they still have a chance of getting it. If more people get the flu shot, there is a better chance we can avoid an epidemic. Despite common misconceptions, it is important to get your flu shot. Overall, it cannot give you the flu and it will help your body fight off the horrible illness. Also, when coughing, be sure to cough your mouth to avoid germs from spreading. 

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