Busting Myths About the Flu Shot

Influenza is one of the most common and most underestimated illnesses. Millions of people around the world contract the flu each year, and thousands of them die from it. The flu is especially dangerous for young children, seniors, and people with chronic medical conditions, such as those that suppress the immune system. The flu shot is an easy, effective way to keep your family healthy and out of urgent care this season. A medical provider will be happy to discuss any concerns you might have about this injection.

Myth: Flu shots aren’t safe for pregnant women.

Actually, expecting mothers are strongly urged to get an annual flu shot as soon as it’s available, as pregnancy is a risk factor for severe flu symptoms and related complications. Pregnant women who contract this illness are more likely to require hospitalization. The shot is safe for use during any trimester, and getting it during pregnancy gives the baby important antibodies to protect him or her during the vulnerable early months of life. Public health experts also recommend the flu shot for women who have given birth recently, as they continue to be at a high risk of severe symptoms for two weeks after childbirth.

Myth: I don’t need a flu shot if I’m not a child or a senior.

If you aren’t at a high risk of severe symptoms and life-threatening complications, you might naturally begin to wonder if you really need the shot. The truth is that the shot is important for everyone, even for those who are at an average risk. Even if you don’t require hospitalization for this illness, it still causes very unpleasant symptoms, keeps you out of work or school for a week or longer, and puts your loved ones at risk of contracting it.

Myth: Flu shots aren’t very effective.

All vaccines given in the U.S. undergo rigorous testing to ensure safety and effectiveness. However, it’s still possible for patients to become ill despite getting a flu shot for the following reasons:

  • The patient becomes ill with a virus that isn’t influenza.
  • The patient contracts the flu within the two-week, post-injection waiting period that’s necessary for the body to produce the protective antibodies.
  • The patient becomes ill with a different strain of flu other than the ones included in the flu vaccine.

No appointment is needed to get your low-cost or free (for Medicare patients) flu shot at Paramount Urgent Care. For more information, please visit www.paramounturgentcare.com. If you do develop an upper respiratory infection and live near Orlando, you can rely on our urgent care providers to help you feel well again.

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