Five misconceptions about the flu vaccine

Five misconceptions about the flu vaccine

By Life@TheU

Five misconceptions about the flu vaccine

By Life@TheU

As part of the University’s COVID-19 response, faculty, staff, and students are required to receive the flu vaccine. Learn more about common misconceptions about the flu shot and schedule your appointment today. 

The flu shot can give you the flu.
You cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine; in fact, most vaccinations do not use a live virus. It is common to mistakenly confuse flu symptoms with the vaccine side effects, such as a minor fever, or the possibility that you may have caught the flu prior to having the flu vaccine without having developed signs and symptoms.

I’m allergic to eggs and have been told not to get the flu shot.
A vaccine is available to those with egg allergies through the University of Miami Health System. Work with your provider directly to ensure you are receiving the correct vaccination.

I don’t need to get the flu shot every year.
Influenza viruses are continually changing, which is why the vaccine must be updated often. A vaccine created one year may not cover viruses circulating the next season, and immunity developed one year may not last through the following year's flu season.

Instead of getting the flu shot, I’ll just take antivirals if I get sick.
It is best to take precautions to prevent the flu with annual immunization. You can seek treatment for the flu; but in the meantime, you may have already passed on the virus to family, friends, patients, and coworkers since viral shedding may occur up to two to three days prior to the appearance of symptoms. In addition, resistance to antiviral drugs can develop in circulating virus strains, therefore compromising the effectiveness of the drugs for people who need them the most—those at high risk for severe health complications.

I have never gotten the flu shot before, why is it required this year?

There are three main reasons  the 2020-21 flu shot is required.

  • First, it is required to ensure that the seasonal flu does not reduce health care resources for those in need of care during a pandemic. 
  • Flu and COVID-19 symptoms have many similarities; therefore, the seasonal flu vaccine will lessen complications to the University’s COVID-19 testing, tracking, and tracing efforts. 
  • Because of the unknowns about how the flu and COVID-19 will interact, the flu vaccine will help to eliminate the uncertainties as health care professionals work toward solutions.

Visit corona.miami.edu/flushot for answers to frequently asked questions and information on the flu shot requirement for University faculty, staff, and students. 

This content has been medically reviewed by Dr. Bhavarth Shukla.