Local doctor answers common flu vaccine questions

Breaking down misconceptions on flu season

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Health experts say they are bracing for a potentially miserable flu season and health experts are urging people to get their flu shots. 

WZZM 13 sat down with Dr. Jobeda Sheuly with American Family Care to answer some common questions about the flu vaccine. 

FLU FAST FACTS

  • Typical flu season begins in early October and runs through the end of May.
  • A flu vaccine is recommended for anyone 6 months or older.
  • During the 2016-17 season, the CDC reported 140 pediatric flu deaths.
  • In June 2016, the CDC reported the “nasal spray” vaccine was only 3% effective.
  • Children under the age of 6, pregnant women and adults 65 or older are at high risk for serious flu complications like inflammation of the heart, brain or muscle tissues or multi-organ failure.
  • Physicians stress the vaccine will not cause the flu.  A vaccine will make symptoms milder if you do get sick.
  • If you don’t get the vaccine by end of October, do not skip it.
  • Most experts think flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when someone with flu coughs, sneezes or talks. They can infect you from six feet away.
  • People can carry the virus and risk exposing others when they show little symptoms.
  • Frequently touched surfaces at work or school should be cleaned and disinfected especially if someone is ill.

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