Myths around the flu jab have been circulating for years. 1st Contact Travel Clinic debunks the top four myths surrounding this often-misunderstood vaccine.
- Myth: the flu jab gives you the flu.Many people are still under the impression that the jab “gives you flu”, or at the very least that the side effects of the jab are as bad as the flu itself. While the jab did have a few unpleasant flu-like side effects many years ago, this is simply not true today. Flu vaccines contain “dead viruses”, which cannot infect you in any way. If the virus is already present in your body when you have the jab, you will experience some mild flu symptoms, but not because you had the jab.
- Myth: I don’t need the vaccine, I take antibiotics instead.This is another common myth. Antibiotics only fight bacterial infections, whereas the flu is caused by a virus. The only time you might need antibiotics is if your flu weakens your immune system and you get a secondary bacterial infection on top of the viral one. When diagnosed with a bacterial infection by your GP, you might be prescribed antibiotics, but you should never take antibiotics as a preventative measure.
- Myth: The flu jab weakens your body’s immune system.Vaccines do not weaken the body’s immune system – they strengthen it by producing antibodies. The flu virus, on the other hand, weakens the immune system, leaving the body vulnerable to secondary infections.
- Myth: The flu is not that bad.While some people get over the flu fairly quickly, many fight off recurring infections for weeks, others are hospitalised, and thousands die in the UK every year from the Influenza virus or complications arising from the virus.
“There’s really no good reason not to get the flu vaccine anymore,” says Andrea, a 1st Contact Travel Clinic nurse. “It’s far better to have the vaccine and avoid the virus than buy into all the myths and put yourself at risk.”
1st Contact Travel Clinic offers the flu jab for only £15.00. Book your appointment by calling 0333 200 0675.