Flu shots are currently available in our offices, and are recommended for anyone aged 6 months or older who would like to reduce the likelihood of becoming ill with influenza. Getting vaccinated before the flu season is in full force will give your body a chance to build up immunity to the virus.

There are many misconceptions about getting a flu vaccine. Let’s set the record straight.

Misconception 1: A flu shot can actually give you the flu. 

Truth: No, flu vaccines can’t cause the illness. Flu shots are currently made in two ways: the vaccine is made either with a) flu viruses that have been inactivated (killed) and that therefore are no longer infectious, or b) by using only a single gene from a flu virus (as opposed to the full virus) in order to produce an immune response without causing infection.

Misconception 2: It’s better to get the flu than the flu vaccine.

Truth: No. Flu can be a serious disease, especially among young children, older adults, and people with certain chronic health conditions, such as asthma, heart disease or diabetes. A flu infection can carry a risk of serious complications, hospitalization or death, even among otherwise healthy children and adults. Therefore, getting vaccinated is a safer choice than risking illness to obtain immune protection.

Misconception 3: I don’t need to get vaccinated every year.

Truth: The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for just about everyone 6 months and older, even when the viruses the vaccine protects against have not changed from the previous season. This is because a person’s immune protection from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccination is needed to get the optimal protection against the flu.

The flu vaccine is the most effective way to prevent illness caused by seasonal influenza viruses. Getting vaccinated may also protect people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people and people with certain chronic health conditions.

Don’t wait – call our office to schedule your flu shot today.

Be well.

Dr. Khan

Dr. Farhan Khan MD

Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine
Flushing (810) 732-4007