06 November 2018

5 Flu Vaccine Myths you Should Ignore


Influenza virus survives better in colder, drier climates, or so the theory goes. It is at this time of year, when myths begin to emerge regarding the 'flu jab' - which has been made available to 24 million people in England this year, an additional 3 million compared to last winter. 

The following myths are actually harmful, as they will leave you at greater risk of developing the condition this wintertime. Here are some of the big ones to ignore... 

"Vitamin C can prevent flu"

Many people think that taking daily vitamin C supplements will prevent  them getting flu, but there's little to no evidence to prove this. It is, of course, important to ensure you have an adequate amount of vitamin C in your system. Vitamin C fights blood pressure, encourages the production of white blood cells and helps the body to absorb iron. 

"You can catch flu from the flu vaccine"

This is probably the most common myth. However, rest assured, it's impossible. The flu vaccine cannot cause flu as there are no active viruses in the vaccine. 

If you have what you think is flu after vaccination, it may be that you have caught a flu-like virus that isn't really flu, or you may have caught flu before your flu vaccination had taken effect.

"Flu is like a heavy cold"

This is simply untrue - ask anyone who has been unfortunate enough to have had flu. Flu symptoms come on suddenly and sometimes severely. They include fever, chills, headaches and aching muscles, as well as a cough and sore throat. 

You're likely to spend 2 or 3 days in bed. If you get complications caused by flu, you could become seriously ill and may end up in hospital.

"You only need flu vaccine once"

Unfortunately, not. The viruses that cause flu can change every year, so you need a vaccination that matches the new viruses each year. The vaccine usually provides protection for the duration of that year's flu season

"If you are pregnant you shouldn't have the flu vaccine"

Being pregnant is more of a reason to have the vaccine. If you're pregnant, you could get very ill if you get flu, which could also be bad for your baby.

By having the vaccine, you can also protect your baby against flu after they're born and during the early months of life.

Public Health Minister Steve Brine said: "Our free vaccination programme is world-leading and we constantly review the latest evidence - that's why from next season we are prioritising new and existing vaccines we know offer the best protection."

All Newcross Healthcare caregivers and nurses are eligible to receive the flu vaccine. This is to ensure you are protected against catching flu and developing serious complications. Contact your GP for more information.

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