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Fighting the Flu: Fact or Fiction

With the weather changing and school starting again, a new challenge is beginning for families everywhere: cold and flu season.

Staying healthy this time of year can be tough — and this year could be even more difficult. Flu symptoms can be very similar to symptoms of COVID-19.

You don’t have to fight this alone. Where to start? Solid facts and a flu vaccination.

CareSpot and MedPost Urgent Care locations have flu shots ready for you and your whole family. And if you’re experiencing symptoms you’re unsure of, don’t delay — we have tests for both flu and COVID-19 to help you get the most appropriate treatment quickly.

Fact or Fiction

Test your flu-fighting knowledge by answering true or false to the statements below:

• Flu vaccines give you the flu.

• Getting vaccinated twice in the same season doubles your immunity.

• Immunity against the flu from a flu vaccine diminishes over time.

• Pregnant women should get the flu vaccine.

Answers

Flu vaccines give you the flu: False

Flu vaccines come in two forms: flu shots and nasal sprays. The virus in the shot is inactive so it can’t cause infection. The most common side effect from a flu shot is soreness or redness near the injection site.

The virus in the nasal spray is weakened and can’t survive in warmer body temperatures beyond the nose. (Note: the nasal spray flu vaccine is not being used at CareSpot or MedPost locations.)

Side effects from the spray may include congestion, sore throat and headache, but are typically mild and short-lived compared to the flu and its potential complications.

Getting vaccinated twice in the same season doubles your immunity against the flu: False

Studies have not shown any additional benefit from getting vaccinated twice in one year and it’s not recommended for most people, even seniors or those with a weakened immune system. In some cases, children who didn’t receive a flu vaccine the previous year are given two doses to “prime” their immune systems and provide protection.

Immunity against the flu from a vaccine diminishes over time: True

While a single flu vaccine is sufficient to help protect you from the flu for an entire season, flu viruses are constantly evolving. New vaccines are developed each year to keep up with these changes and are your best bet for continued protection.

Pregnant women should get vaccinated: True

Pregnant women are considered at high risk for developing flu complications like pneumonia, and even premature labor and delivery. The flu shot not only protects the mom, but also protects the baby and will continue to provide protection even after baby is born. Studies have shown the flu shot is safe for pregnant women, but the nasal spray vaccine is not recommended.