Flu Myths and Concerns

Is there an association of Guillain-Barré syndrome with the flu vaccine?

Seasonal influenza vaccines have been associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome in 1 per 1,000,000 people vaccinated. Recent data suggest that seasonal influenza virus infection (getting the flu) and not the vaccines may be one of the causes of GBS.

I got the flu from the flu shot last time.

Flu vaccines cannot cause the flu. If you became ill with the flu after receiving the flu vaccine, it is most likely that you either contracted it before you received the shot or contracted a virus for which the vaccine did not provide protection.

I don't consider the flu to be dangerous, so I don't need a flu shot.

Influenza can have serious medical complications leading to more than 200,000 hospitalization and 36,000 deaths in the United States each year. Vaccination is the best protection against the flu. Being vaccinated helps protect you and those around you from getting the flu.

I don't think flu vaccines really work.

The ability of vaccines to protect depends upon people's age and health status, as well as how well matched the vaccine is to the virus strains that are going around. However, when vaccines are well matched, they can reduce the chances of getting the flu by nearly 90 percent.

I am afraid of shots.

All of the nurse vaccinators at Wake Forest Baptist Health are experienced at giving injections, minimizing the discomfort. For those who do not want an injection, nasal sprays are an option for healthy adults under 50 years of age.

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Influenza Vaccination During Pregnancy Protects Newborns

Infants born to mothers who received the influenza (flu) vaccine while pregnant are nearly 50 percent less likely to be hospitalized for the flu than infants born to mothers who did not receive the vaccine while pregnant, according to a new collaborative study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and colleagues.

Last Updated: 10-02-2014
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