News 8 On Call – Busting Flu Myths

Health

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – News 8 is on call for you. The focus is on the top misconceptions about the flu.

We are busting flu myths with Dr. Zane Saul – Chief of Infectious Diseases at Bridgeport Hospital.

Myth #1 – You can catch the flu from the flu shot

Dr. Saul says, “You can not catch the flu from the flu vaccine. The way the vaccines work, they stimulate your immune system and there could be side effects which may mimic some flu symptoms. You may get achy, you may get feverish, you may have some joint pains. This is an effect of the the vaccine. It shows that it’s working.”

Myth #2 – You don’t need to get vaccinated if you’re healthy.

“Healthy people do need to get vaccinated to stay healthy,” says Dr. Saul, “It is so highly contagious that even healthy people will be down and under if they get the flu. The more people that get vaccinated the more immunity the community has so we call it community immunity and that helps to protect each other.”

Myth #3 – All you need is the vaccine to protect you from the flu.

He says, “It’s a big step – getting the flu vaccine but you know you gotta do a lot of things. Hand washing, staying away from people who are sick. And if you are sick, cover your cough.”

Myth #4 – You don’t need to get the flu shot every year

He stresses, “You do need to get a flu shot every year because the flu strain changes.”

Myth #5 – Getting the flu is better than the vaccine

Dr. Saul points out, “Having the flu, you’ll miss work several days, and you’ll be bedridden, you’ll be miserable and by getting the shot, you protect yourself.”

And from Samantha in Branford – I’m in my mid 20’s, since it’s optional, I don’t think it’s necessary.

Related: Protecting older adults from the flu

Dr. Saul responds, “But it is highly recommended. Even if you don’t want to do it for yourself, do it for the people you love and the people around you, that you don’t get the flu, bring it home and give it to others.”

She also says — I’m worried about long term effects of the flu shot.

Dr. Saul answers, “We’ve done studies and there’s lots of data about the long term safety about the flu vaccine and there is no long term side effects from the flu vaccine.”

Related: Flu study, clinical trial underway

And this reminder — the CDC highly recommends that people 6 months and older get the flu shot that includes pregnant women.

And getting it done by the end of October to maximize your immunity this flu season.

Have a health question? Be sure to send it to News8OnCall@WTNH.com.

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