Jackson Health System offers affordable flu vaccines at various locations, conveniently located throughout Miami-Dade County. For a list of participating locations, please click here.
1. Getting the flu vaccine gives you the flu.
The injected flu vaccine that is given to adults contains deactivated flu viruses, so it cannot give you the flu. Your arm may feel a little sore where you were injected, and some people get a slight temperature and have aching muscles for a couple of days afterwards, but other reactions are rare.
2. Getting the flu is better than getting the flu vaccine.
No, getting vaccinated is a safer choice than risking getting sick to obtain immune protection. Flu can be a serious disease, particularly among young children, older adults, and people with certain chronic health conditions, like asthma, heart disease, or diabetes. Any flu infection can carry a risk of serious complications, hospitalization, and even death.
3. The flu can be treated with antibiotics.
Viruses cause the flu, and antibiotics only work against bacteria. You may be prescribed antiviral medicines to treat the flu, but they’re not a cure. However, they can make you less infectious to others and reduce the length of time you might be sick. To be effective, antivirals have to be given within a day or two of your symptoms appearing. A bacterial infection may occur as a result of having the flu, in which case, you may be given antibiotics.
4. Once you get the flu vaccine, you’re not protected for life.
The viruses that cause the flu can change every year, so you need an annual vaccination that matches the new viruses. The vaccine usually provides protection for the duration of the flu season for that year.
5. I’m pregnant, so I shouldn’t get the flu vaccine because it will affect my baby.
You should get the vaccine in whatever stage of pregnancy you’re in. If you’re pregnant and not vaccinated, getting the flu can be dangerous for yourself and your baby. Also, getting the flu vaccine can protect your baby against the virus after they’re born, and during the early months of life.
6. If I miss getting the flu vaccine in October, it’s not too late to get it later in the year.
It’s better to get the flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available, but it’s always worth getting vaccinated before the flu comes around. Since we don’t know when the flu will strike, the sooner you get the vaccine, the better. It takes approximately two weeks to build up immunity.
7. I’ve had the flu already this season, so I don’t need the vaccination this year.
Because flu is caused by several viruses, you will only be protected by the immunity you developed naturally against one of them. You could go on to catch another strain, so it’s recommended that you get the flu vaccine even if you’ve recently had the flu. Also, what you thought was the flu could have been something else.
8. Having the flu is not like having a bad cold.
A bad bout of the flu is far worse than a bad cold. Flu symptoms come on suddenly and sometimes severely. They include fever, chills, headaches, and aching muscles, as well as a cough and a sore throat. If you get complications caused by the flu, you could become seriously ill, requiring hospitalization.
9. The flu vaccine doesn’t work.
The effectiveness of the vaccine ranges from 70 to 90 percent, depending on how well the circulating viruses match those in the vaccine. In populations in which the vaccine is less effective in preventing the flu, like the elderly, the vaccine reduces the severity of the disease by up to 60 percent. Getting vaccinated is the most effective way to protect against the flu.
10. Our staff follows standard precautions, including good hand hygiene practices and appropriate glove and mask use, so vaccination isn’t necessary.
The flu is spread through respiratory droplets generated when talking, coughing, or sneezing. You can spread the flu virus at least one day before showing any signs or symptoms, so you can unknowingly infect patients or other staff members. According to The Joint Commission, 50 percent of flu infections can also be asymptomatic, or show no symptoms.
11. Healthy people don’t need to get the flu vaccine.
While it’s especially important for people who have a chronic illness to get the flu shot, anyone — even if you’re healthy — can benefit from being vaccinated. It’s recommend yearly vaccination against flu for everyone older than 6 months of age, including pregnant women.