Myths and misconceptions about the flu vaccine

“I can avoid getting the flu by taking vitamin C or eating well.”

There is no scientific evidence this is true. Read more about what does or does not prevent flu here.

“I’ve had the vaccine before.”

Flu evolves constantly and the vaccine changes every year to try to keep up – protection does not last from one year to the next.

“It doesn’t work.”

The flu vaccine is evaluated every year. The inactivated vaccine contains three strains and the vaccine usually provides good protection against these strains.

You can read more about vaccine effectiveness during 2015/16 here.

“I am healthy, so I don’t need the flu vaccine.”

As a health and social care worker, you are likely to come into contact with influenza.

Getting vaccinated will lower the chances of you becoming infected and passing flu on to those who are most likely to develop complications.

The vaccine is recommended for pregnant women.

“The flu vaccine can give you flu.”

The flu vaccine given to healthcare workers in Northern Ireland is inactivated and cannot give you flu.

Most people do not experience any side effects and if they do, these side effects are usually mild soreness at the injection site or a slightly raised temperature.

“I have an allergy to eggs so I can’t have the vaccine.”

Any healthcare worker with an egg allergy that did not result in anaphylaxis requiring an intensive care admission can be vaccinated in an occupational health setting with a flu vaccine that has low ovalbumin (egg protein) content.

Speak to your occupational health professional about your allergy.

“Why should I get an injection because my employer wants me to?”

You are the person with most to gain by getting the vaccine (and most to lose by not getting it).

How would you feel about not getting vaccinated if you caught flu and gave it to a vulnerable person in your family or hospital?