Girl smiling after flu shot

6 flu shot myths, busted

There are many misconceptions about flu shots. So, we asked pharmacist Kim Sweeney to give us the facts about the flu vaccine.

Kim Sweeney, pharmacistMyth: The shot will give me flu-like symptoms.
Fact: The shot is inactivated and does not contain live flu vaccine, so getting flu from this vaccine is not possible. However, mild reactions such as soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given, and itchy eyes, cough, fever, aches and/or fatigue are possible in some patients.

Myth: The shot is 100 percent effective. I won’t get the flu at all.
Fact: Flu shots contain a few different influenza viruses that are predicted to be the most common for the upcoming season. There are many strains and ones that continually change, so there is a chance that you could get the flu. However, it is still your best defense and greatly reduces your risk of getting the flu.

Myth: I am immunized immediately.
Fact: It takes approximately two weeks for protection to develop.

Myth: I’m young and healthy, I don't need it.
Fact: It is recommended that all patients over six months receive the vaccine. Children under six months should get two doses the first year they are vaccinated.

Myth: I got one last year, I’m fine.
Fact: It is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to have a flu shot annually.

Myth: Well I’ve never gotten a flu shot, I don’t see why I need to start getting one at this age.
Fact: Each year thousands of people in the United States die from the flu, and many more are hospitalized. The vaccine is the best protection against contacting and spreading the disease.

Get your shot

If you're in need of your annual flu shot, contact your primary physician, or visit a Walgreens pharmacy at Community hospitals.