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National Influenza Vaccination Week (December 6-12)

Did you know that during the 2019-2020 flu season it was estimated that 38 million illness, 18 million medical visits, 405,00 hospitalizations, and 22,000 deaths were caused by the flu? The best way to help prevent getting the flu OR decreasing severity if you do by chance get it, is by getting your annual flu shot.

Influenza Vaccine FALSE & FACT:

o I can get the flu from the flu shot.

§ FALSE. Flu vaccines are given as a killed virus when given as a shot, while the nasal form contains a live virus that is weakened so it will not cause the flu.

o I need to get a flu shot every year.

§ FACT. A person’s immune protection from vaccines declines over time, so getting the yearly flu shot is need to get the best protection against the flu. The flu viruses change constantly, therefore each year the strains in the vaccine are evaluated and updated as needed to provide the best protection possible.

o I got the flu shot, but still got the flu. There’s no reason for me to ever get it again.

§ FALSE. There are multiple reasons why you may get flu symptoms even after getting the flu shot.

1. There are other respiratory viruses other than the flu that cause similar symptoms. These viruses also spread and cause illness during the flu season. The flu vaccine ONLY protects against the flu, not other illnesses/viruses.

2. You may have gotten exposed to flu viruses prior to getting the vaccine or during the 2-week period after vaccination (during the time it takes to build immunity) resulting in becoming sick before protection takes effect.

3. You may have been exposed to a flu virus that is completely different from the viruses that vaccine is designed to protect against. There are multiple different flu viruses that spread and causes illness.

4. Flu vaccines, like any other vaccine, differ in how they work in each person. However, studies have shown that the vaccine has helped reduce the severity of illness.

o There is no current evidence that getting the flu vaccine increases the risk from getting COIVD-19.

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