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With the start of flu season around the corner, MediCopy wants to make sure you are protected! You may remember that last year’s vaccine was not very effective. You can read more about that here. However, the CDC has been working tirelessly to include strands of the virus they had missed and expect this year’s vaccine to be MUCH more effective.

You may ask yourself, do I really need a flu shot? After all, who likes shots anyway? The short answer is, yes. The CDC recommends everyone over the age of 6 months receive a vaccine. They are extremely adamant for high-risk individuals such as pregnant women, older adults, young children, and anyone with Immunodeficiency. The only people they suggest avoid the shot are those who are allergic to eggs (as the flu vaccine does contain a small amount of egg protein) and those who have had a severe reaction to the vaccine in the past.

We all know we SHOULD get a flu shot but many still have questions. Let’s look at how Harvard Health debunks some common myths about the flu shot:

1. You can get the flu from the vaccine. FALSE - The vaccine is made out of an inactivated form of the virus and cannot transmit the infection.

2. The flu is just a bad cold. FALSE - The flu is a much stronger virus. In fact, it accounts for about 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths each year.

3. You do not need a flu shot every year. FALSE - The flu virus mutates each year so continued vaccination is crucial.

4. You cannot spread the flu if you a feeling well. FALSE - Actually, 20%-30% of people carrying the virus have no symptoms

5. If you have a high fever, antibiotics may be needed. FALSE - Antibiotics only work against bacterial infections, they have little to no effectiveness against viruses.

But what if are afraid of shots/needles? Good news! In the past, the flu mist was not as effective against the flu as the shot. However, the CDC expects this year’s mist to be very effective. If you are between the ages of 2 and 49, AND are not part of a high-risk group, the mist may be an option to consider.

Now that you know more about the flu vaccine, myths surrounding it, and how effective it is projected to be this year, MediCopy suggests you speak with your doctor about the vaccine.