Understanding the Facts about Flu and COVID-19 Vaccines
As we enter the annual flu season and for an expected increase in COVID-19, it’s time to get your vaccines scheduled.
Receiving vaccines is a safe and healthy way to limit the impact of both the flu and COVID-19. “Unfortunately, there continues to be a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to vaccines. Myths about dosing and potential side effects are still prevalent in our communities, causing more individuals to get sick.” says Richard Samuel, MD, a primary care doctor with Adventist Medical Group.
It’s important that you understand the vaccination process and are willing to talk with your doctor about any concerns you may have. Follow along as Dr. Samuel helps to separate fact from myth about the COVID-19 and flu vaccines.
Myth: I don’t need a flu vaccine. I’m healthy and I’ve never gotten the flu.
Fact: “The strain of flu changes every single year. Just because you haven’t been impacted in the past doesn’t mean a newer strain won’t affect you in the future. To have the best protection, you should receive a flu vaccine every year, regardless of your level of health.”
Myth: I’m going to get my flu shot later in the season, just to make sure it’s safe.
Fact: “Although it’s never too late to receive a flu shot, getting it earlier provides the best protection. It takes about two weeks for you to become fully immunized after the shot so you should receive the vaccine before the flu becomes a problem in your community. Although it is tested for safety, speak with your doctor if you are concerned about the safety of the vaccine.”
Myth: The flu is just a bad cold. No one ever gets seriously sick.
Fact: “The symptoms of the flu can be severe, especially for those at high risk of severe complications such as older adults. The CDC estimate that between 12,000-52,000 deaths occur annually from the flu. Getting vaccinated can slow the spread and protect the elderly and immunocompromised persons.”
Myth: I’ve received my first two vaccine doses, so I’m fully protected against COVID-19.
Fact: “In order to be fully vaccinated, it is recommended that patients receive at least 1 booster dose. Depending on your age and overall health, you may qualify for additional doses. Check with your doctor to determine which options are available for you.”
Myth: I’ve never been vaccinated, and I haven’t had COVID-19, I don’t need to get my vaccine.
Fact: “You should still consider getting vaccinated to not only protect yourself but also those around you. The vaccine can help limit the symptoms if you end up developing COVID-19.“
Myth: The COVID-19 vaccines are not safe.
Fact: “The vaccines have all been shown in clinical trials to be safe and effective at limiting the impact of the COVID-19 Virus. As more people get the vaccine, it continues to prove how safe they are.”
There continues to be many questions surrounding vaccines and their ability to help protect us against illness. “As we head into flu season, it’s essential that you speak to your doctor about which vaccine options are best for keeping you safe and healthy.” says Dr. Samuel.