Arlington, Va. (WUSA9) -- Thanksgiving is approaching but the flu season is already here, yet many of us find reasons to avoid the flu shot.
Dr. Rohit Modak of Virginia Hospital Center wants to tell you about those myths.
"The flu is very severe, it can cause hospitalization," adds Dr. Modak.
- Myth #1: The vaccine can give you the flu.
"The flu shot cannot give you the flu, the flu shot does not contain any live viruses," says Dr. Modak.
A dormant strain does enter the body, but it provides immunity from the active ones.
- Myth #2: It's better to get the shot later in the year, because if you get it early... It may wear off.
Dr. Modak says, "There's no evidence that the efficacy of the flu shot will wane during the course of the year. In fact, I think it is better to get it earlier in the season because it offers you more protection."
- Myth #3: I'm pregnant... the flu vaccine will affect me!
"The flu shot has not been shown to affect pregnancy. If pregnant women get the flu they are at high risk to be hospitalized. It's very important for pregnant women to get vaccinated," adds Dr. Modak.
- Myth #4: I got the shot last year, I don't need it again.
Dr. Modak says, "The flu virus actually changes every year. They make a different strain which has different protective abilities. So it's not safe to say, 'i've got it in the past, you don't need it again'. You need to get it every year."
Children under 5, people with diabetes, or chronic pulmonary problems are most at risk. If you don't like the shot, the vaccine is also available as a nasal spray.