IDPH: Flu shots do not cause the flu

By WEEK Producer

IDPH: Flu shots do not cause the flu

September 12, 2012 Updated Sep 12, 2012 at 2:41 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- It may seem a bit early, but according to the Illinois Department of Public Health, now is the perfect time to consider getting a flu shot.

The influenza vaccine is just starting to arrive at local health departments, pharmacies, and health care clinics around Illinois, and the IDPH as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are recommending everyone 6 months and older get a flu shot as soon as it becomes available.

IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck says it is important to get a seasonal flu shot every year because of the changing flu strains.  Additionally, he says the stigma behind the flu shot is completely untrue.

"One of the biggest myths and most common reasons people don't get a flu shot is because they think they get the flu from a flu shot," said Hasbrouck.  "The viruses in the flu vaccine are either killed or weakened, so you cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine."

There will be three different flu shots available this year, as well as a nasal spray, including:

* Regular flu shot approved for people ages 6 months and older
* High-dose flu shot approved for people 65 and older
* Intradermal flu shot (smaller needle) approved for people 18 to 64 years old

The nasal spray flu vaccine is approved for health people 2 to 49 years of age who are not pregnant.

More information on the flu vaccine can be found at http://www.idph.state.il.us/flu/index.htm. To find out where you can get a flu shot, go to http://flushot.healthmap.org.

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