Flu Shot Myths – What’s the Truth?

question marksNobody wants to experience the dreaded flu, and flu vaccinations are a great way of reducing the risk of spreading the contagious sickness. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends anyone over the age of 6 months get a flu shot each year. Since pretty much everyone should be getting a flu shot, we’ll dive into some flu shot myths along with what is really true.

Myth: I’m healthy, I don’t need the flu vaccine.

You are healthy… until you get the flu! The flu is highly contagious and healthy people can pass the virus from one to the other. The virus can spread from person to person through coughing, sneezing, or direct contact.

Myth: The flu shot will give me the flu!

While some people can experience mild side effects such as a sore arm, low fever, or achiness these side effects are generally short-lived. The flu shot is made from dead viruses, and you cannot get the illness from a vaccination.

Myth: The flu shot will hurt, so the discomfort isn’t worth it.

With current technology, the vaccination experience is virtually pain-free with thin needles and experienced nurses delivering the vaccinations. Even if you do feel pain, it is likely a sharp prick that only lasts a couple of seconds. This pain is nothing compared to the flu, which can keep you out of school or work for several days.

Myth: I got a flu shot last year, so I’m good for this year.

Flu strains change every year and the vaccination is modified to provide the greatest protection and immunization in that given year, so it is recommended to get a flu vaccine every year. Additionally, your body’s immunity from the vaccine declines throughout the year, so last year’s flu shot wouldn’t provide you with the protection you need even if the same strain is in circulation.

Myth: It’s too late to get a flu shot.

Maybe you’ve waited a little while, and survived through the peak of flu season, but it’s never too late to get vaccinated. Flu seasons can begin early in fall and last until late spring or longer, so your vaccination can still protect you throughout the year.


So, if you’re looking to get a flu shot, most pharmacies will be able to conduct the vaccination quickly and easily for little or no copay. For employers, onsite flu vaccinations have proven to be effective in reducing the number of sick days employees take and increasing the number of employees who get the shot. Employers can sign up for free onsite flu vaccinations here.