Myth: Pregnant women can’t get a flu shot.
Pregnancy causes immune, heart, and lung changes that increase risks for a bad case of the flu. The flu shot is safe for pregnant women, and can reduce the incidence of high fevers and severe infections, which can lead to pregnancy complications.
Fortunately, as the mother develops antibodies against the flu, this same protection is transferred to the baby through breastmilk, giving them immunity in their first few months.
Myth: Healthy people don’t need to be vaccinated.
Everyone, from the chronically ill to the healthy, benefits from getting a flu vaccine.
While fit people may just experience a minor inconvenience from the flu, they may just easily transmit the virus to more vulnerable members of the population, including family members with underlying health conditions.
Myth: You will not get the flu if you get the flu vaccine.
The flu vaccine helps provide protection from the main types of influenza. However, you still can get the flu. Infection may have set in before you got the vaccine.
It is also possible to get another type of flu that may not be covered by the vaccine. But the vaccine can still provide some protection, and you are more likely to get a milder case of the flu.
Myth: There is no need for a yearly flu vaccine.
The influenza virus can change from year to year. The flu vaccine is adapted to protect against the main types of flu, so it is important to get the flu shot each year before the start of the flu season.
Myth: You can catch the flu by sleeping with wet hair or being exposed to the cold.
How many times have you heard your elders tell you not to sleep with wet hair or else you will get a bad cold or the flu?
However, the only way to catch the flu is by being exposed to the influenza virus. Bundle up when it is cold, but only because the flu season coincides with cold weather.
People often associate the flu with a cold, draughty environment, but there is no direct correlation between the two.
Myth: Feed a cold, starve a fever.
If you have the flu (or a cold) and a fever, you need more fluids. While you may have no appetite, energy from nutritious food and plenty of fluids will give relief and help fight the virus.