Flu – Facts vs Fiction

Flu – Facts vs Fiction

Many people decide against vaccination after hearing pervasive and damaging myths. Here we dispel the myths in view of extensive scientific research and advice from leading healthcare professionals:

MythsFacts
Only old people get flu.Anyone of any age can catch flu, but older people, pregnant women and people who have certain long-term medical conditions like heart, lung, liver or kidney problems or lowered immunity. Healthcare workers are also at an increased risk of flu, especially those with direct clinical patient contact
I got the flu vaccine years ago and it gave me flu!The flu vaccine is an inactivated vaccine and cannot cause flu.
The flu vaccine hasn’t been tested, it’s not safe!All vaccines, including flu vaccines, have to be tested after which they are licensed for use in the UK (and subsequently Gibraltar).
It is dangerous for pregnant women and their babies to be vaccinated.During pregnancy, women are at greater risk of complications from flu, such as having a miscarriage or going into premature labour. The flu vaccine will protect you, your unborn child and can also protect your baby for three months after birth.
Flu is just a bad cold.Colds and flu are caused by different strains of virus – Colds come on gradually (runny nose, then sore throat, then a cough) but flu symptoms come on rapidly, most commonly with a fever. Flu is a much more dangerous virus which can lead to serious infections and illness.
Antibiotics can cure flu.Absolutely not. Antibiotics kill bacteria, whereas Flu is caused by viruses, which do notrespond to antibiotics. The best way to protect yourself against flu is to get vaccinated as early as possible.
The flu vaccine protects you straight away.Typically, it takes about ten days for you to be protected against flu after you get the vaccine – this means that you could be immunised and then pick up flu before you are fully protected. That is why it is best to get the vaccine as early as possible before there are lots of flu viruses circulating.
The flu vaccine will stop me from catching a cold.No, it will not. The flu vaccine protects you against flu viruses. Colds are caused by other less serious viruses that are completely different from flu; you may still get winter colds after getting the flu vaccine, but you are much less likely to get flu itself.
You cannot catch flu if you are fit and healthyFlu is very infectious and anyone can catch flu. Flu viruses are spread by coughing, spluttering, sneezing and other ways of sharing your germs. Regular and thorough hand washing is one of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of flu.
The vaccine is not effective.Being immunised is the best protection available against an unpredictable virus that can cause severe illness.