Common myths about flu shots

Photo Credit: MGN Online

NEW YORK (CNN) – Fall means cooler weather, perhaps activities like hiking and tailgates. But it also means flu season.

You may have heard you should get a flu shot, but still have questions about it.

By now, you probably know it’s flu season but you still may be on the fence about getting a flu shot. Here’s a look at some of the most common myths.

First, kids don’t need flu vaccines. Wrong, they do.  Experts recommend that all children over the age of six months get a flu shot, with one interesting twist.

“New this year, we’re preferentially recommending nasal spray vaccine for healthy children 2-8 years who don’t have any contra indications or precautions when it’s available immediately,” said Dr. Tom Frieden of the CDC.

The shot can give you the flu.  Not so, according to the CDC.  In addition, the flu shot does not protect you from other pathogens and viruses.

It’s also not guaranteed to work, everytime, particularly people with weak immune systems or the elderly.   However, it can help to prevent flu-related complications.

Pregnant women should not get a flu shot.  This one’s definitely not true.  All pregnant women need one, regardless of trimester.  But, experts say, the sooner, the better, for the baby.  And because it’s a live virus, these women need to avoid flu-mist.

It’s a good idea to wait until later in the season to get vaccinated.  Not so.  The shot will cover you all flu season long.  But remember the flu shot’s protection does not take effect for two weeks from the time it was given.

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