FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 10, 2013
CONTACT: Jennifer Miller, (608)
NO EXCUSES! GET A FLU SHOT
Health Officials Look to Dispel Myths that Keep Some People from Getting
MADISON—You have probably seen a sign at your neighborhood pharmacy,
“Flu Shots Available Here”, or maybe your workplace is holding a flu
shot clinic. It seems wherever we go these days, there are reminders
that now is the time to get a flu shot.
“The timing and intensity of a flu season is always unpredictable and
can vary from region to region of the country,” said Dr. Henry Anderson,
State Health Officer. “Really, there is no time like the present to get
a flu shot.”
While the vaccine has been touted for years as the best way to avoid
the flu, there are plenty of misconceptions that persist that make some
people wary about getting the vaccine. “It’s unfortunate that
misinformation could prevent people from protecting themselves, family,
friends and co-workers,” Anderson said. “It’s time we dispel those
- “I got a flu shot, but I got the flu anyway!”
The flu shot cannot cause influenza. If someone gets sick with the
flu after getting the shot, it is likely because they were exposed to
the virus before they got the shot, or were exposed during the time it
takes to develop immunity after getting the shot. It is also possible to
be infected with another respiratory virus (like a cold) during the flu
season. The flu shot only protects against influenza, not other viruses.
While the flu shot is not 100% effective, it is the best way to protect
yourself and your loved ones.
- “I got a flu shot last year. Besides, if everyone around me gets
the shot, why should I?”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a
yearly flu shot for just about everyone 6 months old and older. Immune
protection declines over time, so an annual vaccination is needed to get
the best protection. Even if you’re young and healthy, you can still get
the flu if everyone around you has been vaccinated. Flu viruses are
unpredictable and every year puts you at risk again. Another reason to
get vaccinated is to protect your close contacts, some of whom are
likely to be at risk of complications from the flu, such as young
children, older people, pregnant women, and those with underlying
- “I heard the flu vaccine isn’t safe.”
Manufacturers of flu vaccines are closely monitored by the CDC and
the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Flu vaccines have been
administered for more than 50 years and have a very good safety record.
- “I hate shots.”
The minor, short-term pain of a flu shot is nothing compared to
having the flu, which can make you sick for several days, send you to
the hospital, or worse. However, most healthy, non-pregnant people ages
2 through 49 can opt for the nasal-spray flu vaccine, which is a great
option for people who don’t like shots.
- “I waited too long to get a flu shot.”
While the best time to get a flu shot is when they first become
available, the flu season is unpredictable and can begin early in the
fall and last late into spring. As long as the flu season continues,
it’s not too late to get your flu shot.
To get your flu shot, contact your health care provider, local public
health department, tribal health clinic, or go to
to find a flu vaccination center near you.
Besides the flu shot, there are some common sense measures we should
all take to avoid viruses of all types, including:
- Wash hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand
- Stay home when sick.
- Cover a cough or sneeze with the upper sleeve. If using a tissue,
throw it away after one use.
- Use your own drinking cups and straws.
- Avoid being exposed to people who are sick with flu-like symptoms.
- Eat nutritious meals, get plenty of rest, and do not smoke.
- Frequently clean commonly touched surfaces like door knobs,
telephones, faucets, refrigerator door handles, etc.
The flu season in Wisconsin generally runs from autumn to spring with
peak activity around late-January or February. To learn more about
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October 10, 2013