Flu Vaccine: Debunking the Myths & Objections

December 14, 2007

We’ve heard many people proclaim falsehoods about the flu shot and we try to keep people as informed as possible, apparently we aren’t the only ones trying to debunk myths about the flu vaccine. These myths are traveling like wild fire, mainly over the Internet and many people don’t research it thoroughly enough to get through the opinion that “vaccines are bad”.

According to Dr. Greg Poland, M.D., Director of the Mayo Vaccine Research Group, “I commonly hear people saying, ‘Vaccines are unnatural, and I’ll take my chances.’The bottom line is that the flu kills people, and the best way for you to protect yourself and your family is to get vaccinated.” He adds, “The disease kills nearly 3,600 people every week during the flu season.”

MSN has written an article about the 5 most common myths of the Flu Shot, and these are some of the reasons given as to why people refuse the flu vaccine. We wanted to share their article and address these myths as well:

Myth #1: You can get the Flu from the Flu Shot. The flu shot is an inactivated virus; therefore it uses no live virus for inoculation.

Myth #2: Flu vaccines can give you the Avian (Bird) Flu because it’s grown in eggs. There is absolutely no evidence rendering suggestion that this can happen. The flu vaccine is cultured in eggs, but the makers collect eggs long before the flu season and sterilize them before use, they also kill all the viruses. However, danger can arise with the flu vaccine when someone has an egg allergy.

Myth #3: Scientists don’t know what strains of flu will be circulating therefore can’t make an effective vaccine to protect. The vaccine offers protection against 3 virus strains each season, and vaccine makers can predict which strains will be troublesome almost a year in advance.

Myth #4: Healthy people don’t need a flu shot. While flu poses the most risk to those with weaker immune systems, like infants, the elderly or those with chronic illnesses, healthy individuals can prevent the transmission of flu to the rest of the population by getting vaccinated. The famous Spanish Flu outbreak was most effective at killing young, healthy adults during the early 1900’s.

Myth #5: The flu shot causes autism. When the theory was proposed that vaccines containing thimerosal (a mercury-based preservative) caused autism, large studies on the theory began. In all studies and research, the theory has been debunked, and no link between thimerosal and autism were found. Dr. John Iskander, M.D., Director of Vaccine Safety for the CDC says, “There’s no evidence of any association between vaccines or thimerosal and autism.”

Please read the full article here for more information on the flu shot vaccine and the myths associated with it.


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