Florida doctor debunks myths about flu shots

News 6, Centra Care offering free influenza vaccines

News 6 and AdventHealth have begun hosting events to administer free flu shots to the public.

Dr. Timothy Hendrix, M.D. addressed some of the common myths about flu shots in an interview with News 6.

The first myth, you have likely heard several times: The flu shot can give you the flu.

Not true.

”Some people, after any vaccine as we’ve seen even with COVID 19 some people feel a little achy, fatigued, a little flu-ish the next day. And all that is is your immune system building those antibodies up,” Hendrix said.

According to Hendrix, those achy symptoms should pass within 24 hours.

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Here’s another myth: Our Flu season was so mild last year, it will probably be mild this year.

Incorrect.

”There’s a certain level of community ‘herd immunity’ that we talk about, by having a flu season every year people get their flu shots or they get infected with the flu, that kind of helps to prevent it the next year because that immunity throughout the population helps.”

Hendrix said our previous flu season was mild because most people continued to wear masks and follow social distancing due to the COVID pandemic in 2020. But if we have an outbreak of influenza this year, it could be worse than usual.

Myth No. 3: Getting the flu only affects my health, everyone else can get the flu shot if they want it.

Actually, not everyone can get the flu shot.

”Everybody should get a flu shot that’s older than 6 months old, right? Adults, children, infants, but the very young or perhaps people that can’t get a flu shot because they’ve had an allergic reaction we want to protect them by protecting everyone around them,” Dr. Hendrix said.

And there’s another myth popping up now that COVID vaccines are available: You can’t get the flu and COVID-19 vaccines at the same time.

Another myth.

”If you’re putting it on your calendar I’m going to go get my flu shot next week and you haven’t had the COVID-19 vaccine you should do it at the same time, because it’s very safe to get both vaccines together, you don’t have to wait,” Hendrix said.


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