October 15th, 2013

Debunking flu shot myths: London Drugs pharmacists set the record straight

The misconceptions and rumours about flu shots are as hard to contain and as hard to fight as the virus itself. As the cold and flu season fast approaches, London Drugs
pharmacists set the record straight on popular flu shot myths.

MYTH #1: Young, healthy people don’t need the flu shot.

The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends the flu shot for everyone over the age of six months since some of the most serious flu viruses can even pose a risk to young, healthy people. Plus, the virus could spread to children or the elderly, who can have a much tougher time recovering.

Many people consider the flu to just be a very bad cold. However, a cold usually only consists of cough and congestion, while the flu also includes body aches and fever. Along with these added symptoms, the flu can also carry more serious implications: the seasonal flu hospitalizes 20,000 people in Canada each year, and it kills between 2,000 and 8,000 people.

MYTH #2: The flu shot can give you the flu.

London Drugs Certified Injection Pharmacist, Pindy Janda, explains that “injectable flu vaccines do not contain any live virus so they cannot cause the flu.” People often mistake side effects of the vaccine for the flu itself, or get an unrelated cold that they believe is the flu. In both these cases, the flu vaccine itself is falsely blamed.

MYTH #3: You can skip years between flu shots.

Flu viruses are constantly changing. So each year, the flu shot is updated to provide protection against the most active virus expected in the coming flu season. People must receive a flu shot every year in order to stay protected.

MYTH #4: You have to go to a doctor’s office or wait in line at a provincial flu clinic to receive a vaccination.

Many people are still unaware that they can receive the flu vaccination from a Certified Injection Pharmacist. London Drugs flu clinics are held throughout Alberta and British Columbia during October and November. Patients can book an appointment to receive the vaccination by calling the London Drugs pharmacy directly.

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