Sponsored by The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services.
Staying healthy has been a huge priority for me and my fiancé, especially in the past year. It seems like once a year, one of us gets very sick to where we are out of it for almost three weeks. Last winter, I was incredibly sick with the flu and it got to a point where I would break out in hives anytime my face touched cold air. Not to mention, a chronic cough that stuck around for weeks. I had to get shots to combat the weird lingering side effect and that alone was enough to convince me to get the flu shot for the next season.
Now more than ever, it’s super important to get a flu shot, especially in Michigan. But I’m here to debunk some of the myths that I’ve heard which are super common about the flu shot.
Myth: The flu isn’t that serious.
Reality: There were 952 (147 pediatric, 805 adult) flu-related hospitalizations reported for the 2019-20 flu season. This included six pediatric flu-related deaths in Michigan for 2019-20. Nationally, 187 flu-related pediatric deaths were reported for the 2019-20 flu season.
Myth: A flu shot can cause the flu.
Reality: The flu vaccine does not have a live virus in it, so it is impossible to get the flu from the vaccine. Most people experience no side effects from the flu shot. The most common side effects are soreness, redness, tenderness or swelling where the shot was given. Sometimes people may develop a low-grade fever, headache and muscle aches. These minor side effects are not the flu — they are signs of your body developing the immunity it needs to fight off the flu.
Myth: I got the flu shot and still got sick so the shot doesn’t work.
Reality: A 2018 study showed that among adults hospitalized with flu, vaccinated patients were 59 percent less likely to be admitted to the ICU than those who had not been vaccinated. Among adults in the ICU with flu, vaccinated patients on average spent four fewer days in the hospital than those who were not vaccinated.
Now here are some reasons why you should get vaccinated:
- Flu vaccination helps prevent the flu in people with chronic health conditions. Vaccination has been associated with lower rates of some cardiac events among people with heart disease, especially among those who had had a cardiac event in the past year.
- Flu vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy. Vaccination reduces the risk of flu-associated acute respiratory infection in pregnant women by up to one-half.
- Getting a flu shot this fall will protect yourself and your family from the flu, which is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year in the U.S., there were an estimated 39–56 million cases of the flu, 18–26 million medical visits due to the flu and approximately half a million flu hospitalizations. At a time when our healthcare system is already stressed, it’s important that we avoid outbreaks of preventable potentially deadly diseases, like the flu.
I hope my experience and these facts helped to show you the importance of getting vaccinated. If you have any more questions, please visit The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services here: http://gofyi.ly/5785FB81.