While there are many myths about the flu vaccine, there are also many compelling truths about the benefits of the flu vaccine. Alejandro Sanchez, M.D., an infectious disease physician at Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center, clears up some of the misperceptions about the flu and explains why the flu vaccine is so beneficial.
You protect yourself, your family and friends from the flu. If you don’t get the vaccine, you put yourself and your loved ones at risk for being exposed to the flu.
The flu vaccine doesn’t make you sick. Some people mistake the mild side effects of the flu vaccine, which only some people experience, as the flu. In reality, these flu-like symptoms you might experience are actually a sign that the vaccine is working. It means your body is developing antibodies and it’s a good and normal reaction to the vaccine.
The flu vaccine is very effective.
The flu vaccine is prepared against the strains that scientific studies project will be the culprits. Though it doesn’t contain all strains of the flu virus, it will provide protection against the main strains.
Don’t wait to get the vaccine. It’s best to get the flu vaccine early on in the flu season. If you wait until there’s a flu outbreak, you won’t give your body time to build an antibody response and could risk exposure to the virus. Remember the flu vaccine takes two weeks to work.
Kaiser Permanente members can get a flu shot at their schedule appointments or at the West Los Angeles medical center and nearby Kaiser Permanente medical offices, including the Santa Monica Medical Offices on 1450 Tenth Street, 2nd Floor. Visit here for flu clinic locations and hours.