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The Flu Shot: Here Are The Facts

Have you gotten your flu shot? Sixty percent of Americans get it each year. That obviously leaves around forty percent who say they probably won't. The word "vaccine" has become a trigger-word. But it's always important to know the facts before you make a decision to get ANY vaccination - or choose for your child to have it.

Here are some common misconceptions about the flu virus and the vaccine.

You can catch the flu from the vaccine. Nope, not true. The vaccines contain either inactivated virus or a protein from the virus.

Healthy people don't need a flu shot. Sure, your risk of serious illness may be lower if you're generally healthy, but it's not zero. Plus, if you don't get the flu, you can't spread it.

The flu is just a bad cold. Try telling that to the families of the 24,000 people who died from the flu in the winter of 2019-2020.

You don't need a flu shot every year. The vaccine's effectiveness wanes after about six months -- roughly the length of flu season. Plus, different strains circulate each year, and the vaccines are formulated with that in mind.

The flu shot puts you at greater risk for COVID. Absolutely false. There was one study that linked it to higher rates ofothercoronavirus infections, but it turns out that study was faulty and was retracted.

You can't spread the flu if you're asymptomatic. Actually, up to 30% of flu carriers don't feel sick -- but they're still contagious.

It is true that the flu vaccine isn't 100% effective. Most years, it's about 50%. But that still cuts your risk in half -- and if enough people get the vaccine, it may be enough to approach herd immunity.

Information was published by the CDC and Harvard Medical School.

Photo: Getty Images

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