Flu myths debunked

Posted at 6:00 AM, Sep 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-18 21:46:29-04

TUCSON, Ariz.  — Now that September is here, health experts say it’s more important than ever to protect yourself against the flu.

"We want to rebuild our immune system every year," says Robert Squire, Pharmacist, SpotRx. "Our body tends to forget stuff. Like what we've encountered before. And with the flu, in particular, you know, the strain mutates and changes."

But what exactly is the flu vaccine? Basically, it can be given two ways: A needle or a nasal spray. Both have a dead or weakened flu virus inside, and when that foreign substance makes its way into you, your immune system gets to work.

"The vaccines are there to let your body know there's this invader. And to prepare for the invader," says Squire.

When you get the flu vaccine, it doesn't take effect right away. Health experts say it takes your body about two weeks to build up that immunity. So those of you saying to yourself “whenever I get the flu shot, I get sick” think again.

"During that time of building immunity, one of the things that could have happened, is before you had that flu vaccine, you could have been exposed to somebody," says Squire.

Health experts also say there’s been some concern over two of the ingredients in the vaccine: Formaldehyde and Thermacell. But don’t worry!

"They're in small amounts. And the research shows that it does not impact individuals in small doses," says Squire.

2020 has thrown us a lot of curveballs, which has made life pretty uncertain. But what is clear as day, is the importance of the flu vaccine. So, whether you take the shot in the arm, or you’d prefer to sniff your way to better health, it’s an easy precaution that can keep all of us as healthy as possible.