The Truth about Flu Shots

Having trouble deciding whether you should get a flu shot this year or not? Have you been hearing a lot of conflicting information about flu shots that are making you uncertain? Here are some true facts about flu shots that can help you make a decision.

Does the Flu Shot Work?

Yes. The flu shot is up to 90% effective in preventing the flu. However, it only works against the strains of the flu it’s designed to combat. Which strains are included depends on a guess made by scientists at the Centers for Disease Control about which strains are most likely to be common during the season.

Does the Flu Shot Make You Sick?

No. The flu shot doesn’t contain any live virus that could cause you to become sick. Instead, it contains dead viruses that teach your body how to respond to the virus attack. Placebo-controlled studies have shown that the reported sickness from the injection is either psychosomatic (which is a fancy way of saying “imagined”) or due to another cause.

Are There Any Risks Associated with the Flu Shot?

Yes, but they are very rare. More than 100 million doses are administered every year, and the total number of adverse events recorded since 1991 numbers in the tens of thousands. These are usually swelling at the injection site, though seizures are possible.

However, some recommend that you should avoid the flu shot if you’re allergic to eggs because the vaccine contains a protein found in egg whites.

What about Mercury? Does the Flu Shot Contain Mercury?

Many flu shots don’t contain mercury. However, multi-dose vials of the flu vaccine do have a small amount of mercury included in them as a preservative. It amounts to about 2.5 µg of mercury, about 0.0000000088 ounces. For comparison, there are about 2000 times more mercury in a serving of tuna than in a vaccine dose.

If you are ready to get your flu shot in Littleton, please contact Dr. Andy Fine today.

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