PSA #2: THE FLU SHOT IS NOT MAKING YOU SICK

Public Service Announcement #2: Contrary to popular opinion, the flu shot really isn’t making you sick, unless of course you have an allergy to eggs!  I hear from every other person, “that flu shot made me sick last time, I’m never getting it again”.   Please bear with me for a few during My Health Monday as I challenge your thinking on that.

THIS COULD BE YOU!

THIS COULD BE YOU!

From my pharmacy job, interaction at the gym, and as I’ve been browsing around blogs, I keep seeing people shut down for a couple of weeks (UNNECESSARILY) because of the flu.  One of my favorite warriors from my Tuesday morning COMBAT class was even out for Christmas!  That was a major bummer, for her and the children!  In general, if infected, it’s just not a good feeling.  Most people would say an accurate description is “feeling like you’ve been hit by a bus”.  “OUCH!”

You might be thinking, that’s not too bad, but the first person to die of the flu this flu season was actually a child during the first week of October as reported by the CDC.  It can be very serious.  You can see here that we are still in HIGH flu activity in the majority of states in the U.S.  You can sign up here to get updates on flu activity in your area.

This isn’t an all inclusive influenza post!  The most important take away from this is that everyone pretty much should get the flu shot every flu season (October – May) & know that it will not make you sick unless you have an allergy to it, eggs, or if you’ve had Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

  • It takes almost 2 – 4 weeks to protect you totally against the flu, so if you were already exposed, you could still develop it.  Here is your incentive to be first in line this year when it’s offered in October for flu season 2013-14.
  • The flu shot is an INACTIVATED (KILLED) VACCINE.  That means the virus is dead, gone, no longer alive.  You can’t get the flu from it, I promise!  (I know someone is still going to beg to differ:)

You can get the flu shot at the Health Department, doctor’s offices, and unfortunately at pharmacies.  You can even get your flu shot in the middle of the night!  HA, I thought I was getting away with administering them working the night shift.  Would you believe people actually get shots at 2 o’clock in the a.m.! They always seem to come right in the middle of my lunch too!  If you don’t believe me, follow me here, I tend to tweet about these annoyances.  Anywho, to all my gym boo babies; instructors, trainers, members, etc. go get your shot if you haven’t already, so you won’t come up in the gym spreading the cooties, Please and Thank you!  Besides, you can’t lose weight if you’re down for the count!

THERE IS STILL TIME THIS FLU SEASON! COME LET ME STICK YOU;)

THERE IS STILL TIME THIS FLU SEASON! COME LET ME STICK YOU;)

Oh, and the shot doesn’t hurt!!!

I KNOW I GET CARRIED AWAY WITH THIS APP:)

I KNOW I GET CARRIED AWAY WITH THIS APP:)

I will go more into details about the flu vaccine at the beginning of flu season later this year, but feel free to leave me any questions if you have them.

Rx Fitness Lady wants to know…

  • If you ever had the flu, what was it like…REALLY… tell me, I never had it?
  • Did you get a flu shot this year, or will you now?
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Rx Fitness Lady

Greetings, I'm Joi, a Pharmacist with a passion for fitness & a community leader. I teach BODYCOMBAT, BODYPUMP, Tabata Boot Camp, & serve as a mentor to young girls. My goal is to inspire people to live healthy, active, & prosperous lifestyles through practical blog posts deliveries. You can find me on Facebook and Instagram. You can view more post and subscribe to stay tuned to latest updates at Rx Fitness Lady.

71 thoughts on “PSA #2: THE FLU SHOT IS NOT MAKING YOU SICK

  1. Never got one I think my son had it but I use old remedies and some new so we are not sick around here anymore than 3 days. I don’t know if I have had the flu per say I know I have had bad colds before. On a side note you did not have to have that picture of the needle like that *shuddering* they just started holding me down for needles a few years ago lol.
    Kita recently posted…Convo with Sallie MaeMy Profile

    • You don’t like my picture??? It was pretty big too huh, lol! Really tho, Kita, you are one of the people I forgot to mention here that are always coming in asking for some stuff I never heard of, lol!

  2. I have always been terrified of the flu shot thank you for posting this because I’ve been sooo hesitant to get one but I will now. Unfortunately I believed most of these myths because I never really got one growing up. After seeing that a young boy passed away locally from the flu, I realize I have to take this more seriously. And you are soo right who wants to be all laid up and out of the gym with the flu?! Great post girl!
    Nellie recently posted…I Taught My First Zumba Class (And It Was Amazing)My Profile

  3. I always side-eye people that say they got the flu from the flu shot! It just goes to show they don’t do any research whatsoever! After my daughter was hospitalized at 6 months from catching the flu 4 years ago…we make sure that we are vaccinated EVERY year…as soon as it becomes available!
    Britton recently posted…Motivational Monday: OMG…My first 5K!My Profile

    • Awh, I’m so sorry you had to go thru that tough lesson to see the seriousness of flu potential. Thanks for sharing that & pointing out WHEN you and your family get the shot! Hopefully future readers will see that and know that I’m not just trying to get my flu shot quota for the year:)

  4. Thanks so much Joi! I hang my head…for I was one of the many who thought you could get the flu from vaccination, lol! Thanks for the info and thanks for sharing! Have a blessed day! 😉
    Michell recently posted…The Confidence TestMy Profile

    • No need to hang your head pretty lady! That is the point of My Health Mondays and this PSA. I’m thrilled that I have something to offer this here blog land. I’m learning so much as I get to know people thru reading their journeys.

  5. Saw your latest post link on Jen’s wine to weights blog and glad I clicked the link! To add onto your benefits list further for getting the flu shot (other than getting it early and that it WONT make you sick), is that for people like me with asthma, I NEED to get the flu shot every year since I’m at a higher predisposition for having the flu develop into something worse, like bronchitis or pneumonia! I do advocate that everyone get the shot, but still people roll their eyes about how they don’t ‘need’ it. Not sure the history of how the ‘you can get sick from the shot’ wives tale started, would be interesting to find out! Thanks for posting info about the flu shot, I’m sure you will have encouraged at least 1 or more people to start getting them!
    Nicole recently posted…First BarreMy Profile

    • Hi Nicole, Thanks so much for coming over to visit. Thank you for pointing that out. I could write all week about the benefits of getting a flu shot. For some reason, the comments about it making people sick just kept popping up around me, so that was the goal for today: Smash the myth. Seems from the comments that I was able to do just that:)

  6. I got the flu shot and I am so glad I did. One year I did not get the flu shot and I ended up in the emergency room in the middle of the night. I usually am one of the first to get my shot every year. I am cosigning with the fitness lady-GET that flu shot!

    • Thanks for the testimony and cosign! That is awful that the one year you didn’t get the shot, you got the flu. Proof (on this blog anyway) that you need it EVERY year.

  7. I had the flu in the 4th grade and missed school for a whole week. I remember it being extremely debilitating. I had regular symptoms like head congestion and cough, fever and chills, but the worst part of it was the extreme fatigue and malaise. I slept in that bed for the whole week, just waking up to take my medicine for the symptoms. I’m sure the medicine contributed to my drowsiness but my body felt like it was being weighed down by a ton of bricks and I couldn’t even move from the bed, so I just slept the whole thing off. Needless to say, I get my flu shot every year. I have never had the flu again since that time in 4th grade, I don’t know how the natural immunity lasted from having the actual flu, but I recommend everyone get their flu shot every year!

  8. Thanks Joi, I got my flu shot, and I would hate to think of what will happen without it. My doctor scared me, because I skipped taking it one year. He told me that because I had asthma. I should never skipped, because if I got the flu with my asthma it could be the death of me, and I have been getting my shot every since. So continue to educate the people, because it is very important that they know not only are they saving other people lives by taking the flu shot, but they are saving their own.

    • Thanks Robin! I’m glad you got your shot. Continue to stay on top of your healthcare each year. Thanks for checking out the blog.

  9. My whole family except for the baby who is too little got the jab – mostly to protect the baby 🙂 My four year old was mad that it hurt, but proud of herself for showing the little one (who also got vaccs that day) how to be brave and for protecting him!

    Thank you for doing something to spread CORRECT information. When people hem and haw about vaccines, spouting nonsense, it makes me so mad.
    Christa the BabbyMama recently posted…Tell Me What You Love About Being Mom to a BoyMy Profile

    • You’re so welcome Christa! That is sweet about the four year old. Gotta love that older sibling! Thanks for getting the jab for the entire crew:)

  10. Madame Pharmacist,

    I must confess. I have never, and likely never will, get a flu shot. To be fair I don’t think that it’ll make me sick, I’m just siding with the fact that I’ve never had the flu and never had a flu shot. Don’t want to ruin my winning streak. Btw, I think one of my patients make have gotten me sick with PNA. Lordy!
    Andrea recently posted…Didn’t Know I Was Stupid Till I Met Someone SmartMy Profile

  11. My husband and I got flu shots this season, I didn’t do it for my daughters and they both got the flu! I couldn’t believe it. We’ll probably get it for them next year. I had the flu when I was pregnant with my youngest, very sick had to take six weeks off. That needle does look pretty scary, lol!
    Whitney recently posted…Top 10 Motivational SongsMy Profile

    • That’s tough that both the girls got the flu. Yes, please get them vaccinated next year. I’m sure that was no fun to watch. You all just love that photo!

  12. I haven’t got the flu shot yet:( I know I know… I have kids but they have got the shot!!!! I’ve had flu like symptoms….cold sore throat coughing up a lung and all that jazz:/ my question is…Is it too late to get the flu shot for me!!!:)

  13. Thanks girl! I opt out for the shot, but ensured your little growing god-son got his. Coincidentally, he got a cold shortly thereafter. I’m now convinced it wasn’t the shot and maybe this change of weather!
    ~Thanks

  14. Having worked in a pharmacy & have friends that are in health care, I’ve always been told to never get the flu shot. All of my friends that got the flu shot this year would have probably been better off not getting it as it (.. I’m just going to say the shot itself.. since it’s the only common factor for all 4 of my friends that got sick) as they were all sick for at least 3 weeks.

    I haven’t gotten the shot, but have increased my vegetable and fruit consumption, as well as make sure to take all my vitamins in the morning. I haven’t been sick yet, and hopefully won’t. I just strongly believe one can fight the flu naturally without taking that shot.

    L.
    @PartyOverHair

    • Thank you for visiting. If you mean treat the symptoms, you are correct. You can probably use some natural products once infected to help alleviate the symptoms, although, I’d want real medication at that point. If you mean to prevent the flu, you’re entitled to your belief. This is my professional recommendation for most people and especially healthcare and fitness professionals & any other professional that deals with the public (teachers, cashiers, etc.). I’m not sure what pharmacist or healthcare worker would advocate you not getting the flu shot & you didn’t expound on their reasoning behind it. I would be interested to hear it. That is too bad about your friends getting sick, but I doubt if the flu shot was the causing agent, it was more than likely a coincidence that they all had the flu shot. Kudos to you for staying on top of your health and taking your vitamins:) Thank you for commenting.

  15. I have to admit, that I have had a reaction from the flu shot this time, and said I got the flu. I know better, but saying I got the flu to my hubby makes him work a bit harder around here. I know…shame… *winks*
    KalleyC recently posted…A Heavy Burden to CarryMy Profile

  16. Hi Joi! Interested post because I’ve always been told that they are injecting the flu into your body so you build immunity and then don’t catch the flu. Come to think of it, doesn’t make sense. 🙂 I don’t get the flu shot and I’ve been lucky all these years to maybe have gotten it once. Good info though, I’ll definitely pass along.
    Bren recently posted…Would You Like Cheese With That Whine?My Profile

    • Thanks Bren! There are so many things spread about healthcare, this is just one of many that I think ppl are generally misguided about, thus the post. Thanks for sharing it.

      • Well thank you for sharing that with us. More people should share informative posts like this than maybe there would be less of a scare about somethings. 🙂

  17. I always get the flu shot. I like to be cautious with my health because I need to be well because I have a small child. I know a lot of people who will say they got the flu from the shot. When you question them, you will find out they were a little bit more careless about bundling up or the weather did one of those freaky changes where it was 20 degrees on day, 60 the next and back down to 20 or 30, and people did not take the necessary precautions.
    Cynthia recently posted…Rekindling The Fire in Your RelationshipMy Profile

  18. Well tell me this, you can’t get the flu shot it you’re already sickish right? I’ve had the snots for one reason or another since the middle of December when both my son and husband got theirs. I have had the flu once. I was 21, living at home and we all had it. It was awful because no one could do anything for the other. My brother had a fever that made him hallucinate or delirious. I woke up to some commotion. We found him sitting in the middle of his room drumming on the floor. It was scary. I just remember that I couldn’t keep anything down.

    • People that are mildly sick can get it. If you are moderately or severely sick, you should consult your doctor before getting the shot or wait until you’re better. Yes, that does sound scary btw!

  19. Popping over from SITS. I actually just read an article on Friday about people in the UK who are coming down with Narcolepsy from the H1N1 flu shots that were given last year. There was some additive in the shots that triggered the Narcolepsy in about 200 people, especially teenagers. It is incurable (though treatable) and it is having a huge impact on their lives. I’m so mistrustful of the drug companies right now, I think I’d rather just suffer through the flu than take a chance on coming down with something like this. Happily, I have a terrific immune system and I’ve never actually caught the flu so I am confident this will be the same as previous ones.
    Adrian recently posted…I’m a Shot@Life ChampionMy Profile

  20. I also get a lot of excuses as to why my patients can’t get or don’t want the flu shot. This biggest excuse is because they don’t like shots. I always smile because we offer flumist at most health departments. This is the flu vaccine that is sprayed in your nose. Anyone from ages 2-49 can be vaccinated with flumist. Unfortunately If you have Guillain-Barré syndrome or have a weakened immune system (such as HIV infected individuals) you are not eligible to get flumist, because this vaccine is live. Dr. Jones this post was very informative. Thanks Again. And have u gotten your flu shot this year? Lol

  21. Hi. Thank you for this great informative blog.
    So my kids and myself used to get our flu shot every winter until 2 years ago when I decided to stop. The reason was, several weeks after getting the shot, my 3-year old ended up in the ER with a 106 degree fever.
    It was a strain of flu that hadn’t been part of the shot she received. I realized this shot promises more than it can deliver so now we’re just careful: we wash our hands, sneeze/cough in our elbows, etc. My kids get all the other recommended shots but just not the flu shot.

    • I understand your frustration. That is so unfortunate that your baby got the least common strand. Unfortunately, it’s not the prevent all solution but it does help with the most common detectable strand for the year. Thanks for commenting.

  22. I have gotten the flu shot for years and up until this year I have not had the flu in a while. I have had mild colds. This year I was out for 4 days with the flu and it was miserable. However, I know that many people were down for weeks with this nasty strain that went around so I am convinced that the flu shot did help. People do need to understand that the shot will not prevent 100% of the flu cases because there are sometimes strains that go around that are no in the shot. And people like me with weak immune systems catch things sometimes no matter what you do. I am a believer in combining modern medicine with homeopathy. So get the shot, but also take your vitamins and eat better. These things combined will help you out! I know someone who actually died from the flu this year. I will continue to get my child (5 years old currently) and me vaccinated every year.

    • Hi Nicole,

      Thank you sharing your opinion and history. That is so terrible when the flu results in death. My condolences to you for that loss. I’m glad you are continuing to choose protective health for yourself and your child. Please do come back soon!

      Joi

  23. OMG thanks for posting this!!! I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard people say this. I get one every year (I’m in healthcare) and I’ve never gotten sick as a result. Public schools in the state of NJ require flu shots by mid Sept of each school year. Keep them coming. Great job at putting it in understandable terms.
    Veronica @My Finessed Life recently posted…ECO EGG DYE KITMy Profile

    • WOW, how awesome is that!!! We need to catch up down here in GA. Thank you so much for sharing that Veronica and for your comment and support.

      Joi

  24. I like that app too. I never can think of anything applicable to keep calm about though. I haven’t had a flu shot in years. It’s not because I believe or don’t believe, I just haven’t. That’s a terrible excuse isn’t it. I do take Christopher to get his every year. I’ve had the flu once. Me, mom, dad and brother all at the same time. I think mom had it first then so on. We were too sick to help each other out, it really was awful. My brother had the worse reaction but we survived under home remedies and rest.
    Kenya G. Johnson recently posted…It had me at “Relaxing”…My Profile

    • That sounds horrible Kenya! I just got mine this morning when I got off. Sometimes I’ve gone without too, lol 🙂

  25. Wow – I’m super late on this post. I just jumped over from SITS and this caught my eye because last week I got my very first flu shot. Not gonna lie, it wasn’t fun! :/ First of all, it HURT a lot! I’m a total wimp and avoid shots at all costs. It hurt and I still have a sensitive little lump on my arm. The only reason I got it is because I’m going overseas in a few weeks and with travel being hard on the body in addition to being around all kinds of people, I didn’t want to risk ruining my adventure by getting sick.

    I’ve done my research, before and after getting it and I totally understand that you can’t get the flu from the shot BUT I’ve read a lot of doctors and nurses dismissing side effects.
    Within a few hours I was completely exhausted and dizzy/lightheaded. For the next few days I skipped work and was basically bed/couch ridden. I could literally only stay awake for a few hours at a time, I’d “nap” for 5 or 6 hours, wake up and start the process over. I couldn’t walk or move my head without waves of dizziness. I’m still experiencing small bouts of this. I’ve never fainted and have no other symptoms. I didn’t have a fever, no sinus issues, no headaches, no trouble breathing. I found a few threads online where others claimed similar experiences but like I said, any professional who commented chalked it up to coincidence which makes me skeptical.
    I called the doctor’s office where I received my shot and they told me not to worry… the lady was so sweet and professional and legitimately sorry for having to poke me so I didn’t feel like she was blowing me off but I have to wonder when symptoms stop being coincidence and start being recognized for what they are.

    I’d definitely appreciate your thoughts on this 😀

    • Hi Carrie! I’m super late responding, been a busy week. I got my shot last week too and it hurt for a day or too. I was surprised by that bc that’s never happened before. Good deal I did it on Saturday when I didn’t have to teach classes for 2 days. Anywho, I hate to be a major disappointment but those were my thoughts as well as I was reading about what happened to you. That’s some reaction & I haven’t seen any threads nor heard of that, but I’ll try to do a bit of research. My thoughts were coincidental though 🙁 How are you feeling now? Was this your first flu shot?

      Thank you for the question!

      Joi

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