Top 5 Myths About the Flu Vaccine

Like it or not, flu season is ramping up in Michigan. Now is the time to protect yourself and your family by getting a flu vaccine. This one simple step can keep you and your loved ones healthy through the winter while also safeguarding those around you who are at a higher risk for complications from the flu (thousands of Americans die each year from flu-related complications, including many seniors, babies and people with certain health conditions). If for some reason you aren’t convinced a flu shot is a smart idea, keep reading to find out if one of these myths is stopping you from getting protected.

MYTH #1: You can catch the flu from the vaccine.

You will not get the flu from a flu shot. The flu vaccine doesn’t contain any strains of an active virus. You may experience some side effects like muscle aches or a mild fever, but that’s due to your body producing protective antibodies.

MYTH #2: You don’t need to get a flu shot every year.

The most common viruses that cause influenza change every year, so in order to stay protected, you need a current flu shot. This year’s vaccine is designed to protect against the three or four flu virus strains that researchers believe are the most likely to spread.

MYTH #3: The flu shot isn’t that effective, so I don’t need to get one.

The effectiveness of the vaccine can vary from year to year. However, you should still get your flu shot. Even if you do still get sick after getting vaccinated, the flu shot is shown to reduce the severity of the illness.

MYTH #4: Healthy people don’t need the flu vaccine.

Everyone should get the flu shot, even if you have the strongest immune system in the world. That’s because you’re likelier to pass the virus along to others if you don’t have the vaccine. The elderly, children and people with chronic conditions have greater risk concerns, which can cause serious complications and even death if they catch the flu. And don’t use the old “I’ve never gotten the flu shot before and have never gotten the flu” excuse. There are new strains each year and you never know when you might get sick.

MYTH #5: Pregnant women shouldn’t get the flu shot.

It’s actually very important for pregnant women to get the flu shot since changes in their immune system make them even more vulnerable. Studies have shown that the vaccine can even help to protect the baby after birth. Just make sure to tell the person administering the vaccine if you are pregnant so you’re given the correct vaccine form.

If you haven’t gotten your flu shot and you’re a Blue Cross or Blue Care Network member, you can always visit a participating pharmacy with your member ID card to get your flu shot today. While most pharmacies will accept your coverage, be sure to ask before you get your vaccine. Then, write down the date and let your doctor know at your next appointment so he or she can keep your immunization chart up to date.

You can also schedule an appointment with your primary doctor to get one. Your office visit copayment may apply.

For Blue Cross members without Blue Cross pharmacy coverage: Visit bcbsm.com/preventflu to see a list of immunizing pharmacies that provide vaccines under your medical coverage.

Need to register for an online Blue Cross member account?

With an online Blue Cross member account, you can check your coverage, out-of-pocket balance, claims and more from your computer, smartphone or tablet. Luckily, there are several easy ways to register for your account.

Register your account in one of three ways:

  • Visit bcbsm.com/register
  • Get our app. Search BCBSM in the App Store or Google Play.
  • Text “REGISTER” to 222764.*

*Message and data rates may apply. Visit bcbsm.com for our Terms and Conditions of Use and Privacy Practices.

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Photo credit: Eaglesky

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