Influenza, commonly known as “the flu,” is a respiratory viral illness that can cause sickness and death. It’s extremely common in the United States in fall and winter, yet it’s also commonly misunderstood. Here are the facts behind five common (and persistent!) myths about the flu.
Myth : You can get flu from the flu shot
It’s impossible to get the flu from a flu vaccination.
Flu vaccines work because they expose your body to a small amount of the flu virus. This exposure allows your body to produce antibodies that your body will use to fight off future flu infections. (Think of vaccination as a sneak peak at an enemy army. Vaccination allows your body to “see” the enemy’s weapons in advance and prepare a proper counterattack.)
You can’t get the flu from a flu shot because the shot contains only inactivated, or dead, flu viruses. You can’t get the flu from the nasal spray flu vaccine either because the nasal spray only contains weakened flu viruses incapable of causing flu infection in the body.