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Back in October I did a post about flu shots and reminding you to get immunized. I’m taking this post again to remind those who have not had a flu shot to get one, especially given the recent outbreak in our nation of influenza!

Flu shots are recommended for everyone, especially the elderly, the young, and those that have a weakened immune system (ex: those on long term steroids or have other existing conditions). There are often rumors about the flu shot and even excuses for why some people don’t get them, so let’s take this post to “de-bunk” a few rumors. This way you will have no excuses for not getting your shot!

Myth:  If I get the flu shot, I will get the flu.
Reality:  It is true that the shot includes an extremely small strand of the virus itself. This is how vaccines work.  When the virus is injected in to your body, your body makes defenses against it so that when your body potentially comes in contact with the virus again, it will be ready to fight!  There is a small amount of “flu” in the flu shot but it’s not enough to make you sick.

Myth: It will hurt my arm if I get the flu shot.
Reality:  It might sting during the shot administration for only a few seconds. Also, your arm might get sore at the injection site but the soreness shouldn’t last long.

Myth: I have never had the flu, why should I get the flu shot now?
Reality:  It’s true that you might have been one of the lucky few that have not had the flu; however, you never know when the year might come that you do in fact get the flu. You’re better off vaccinated to prevent it!

Myth: I got the flu shot last year, I will be OK.
Reality:  Each year the flu shot is designed to target the potentially bad strands that are expected to impact people. Since viruses change all the time, so do immunizations.  That’s why the flu shot is different each year.

Lastly, here are a few tips to help prevent getting the flu in addition to the shot:

  • Wash your hands often and with soap and warm water for 20 seconds (enough to sing “happy birthday”
  • Do not touch your mouth, eyes, or nose with dirty hands.
  • Take this season to opt not to shake people’s hands and instead try nodding or with a smile saying “nice to meet you”.
  • Stay hydrated (water is best), eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and get lots of rest each night.

If you have any further questions about the flu, flu shot or preventative measures, please reach out to us! We are here for you.

At Carlos and Parnell, M.D., P.A. our professional and caring staff makes the difference with patient care. – See more at: http://carlosparnellmd.com/thermometers-and-babies/#sthash.MFvVROkI.dpuf

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