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10 April Fools’ Day myths about the flu vaccine

April Fool's Day is a day for practical jokes and hoaxes. Some people may use this as an opportunity to spread misinformation or play pranks related to myths and facts about some very important information.

As the flu season approaches, we thought we could clarify some of these misinformation surrounding the flu, its symptoms and vaccine. To help with that, we have answered some of these myths.

The Flu vaccine is available in all our Local Doctros clinics starting today, April 1st, and it can be FREE if you meet the criteria. Visit one of our clinics today and get your flu vaccine. Individuals who are particularly vulnerable, including young children, the elderly, and people with long-term health conditions, are at a higher risk of serious illness, hospitalization, and even death as a result of the flu.

1. Myth: The flu is just like a severe cold

Fact: While both the flu and the common cold share some symptoms, they are caused by different viruses and can have varying levels of severity. The flu can result in more severe complications like pneumonia, hospitalization, and death, whereas a cold typically does not.

2. Myth: The flu vaccine can give you the flu

Fact: The flu vaccine contains an inactive virus and cannot give you the flu. Any mild side effects like achiness or a low-grade fever are normal and temporary.

3. Myth: Getting the flu shot once is enough for a lifetime

Fact: The flu virus changes yearly, so the vaccine must be updated annually to protect against current strains.

4. Myth: The flu shot is the only way to protect yourself from the flu

Fact: In addition to getting vaccinated, there are other precautions you can take during flu season, such as avoiding contact with sick people, washing your hands regularly, and taking antiviral medication if you were exposed to the flu before getting vaccinated.

5. Myth: The flu shot is unnecessary for healthy people

Fact: Even healthy people can get the flu and experience severe complications. Getting vaccinated protects yourself and those around you who may be more vulnerable.

6. Myth: Pregnant women should not get the flu vaccine

Fact: Pregnant women should get the flu vaccine because their immune systems are weaker during pregnancy, and the vaccine is safe at any stage of pregnancy.

7. Myth: The flu shot is only recommended for high-risk groups

Fact: The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone over six months old, including healthy adults.

8. Myth: You can't spread the flu if you feel fine

Fact: It is possible that about 20-30% of people carrying the flu virus may not show any symptoms.

9. Myth: Cold weather or being exposed to drafts can give you the flu

Fact: You can only catch the flu by exposure to the virus. Although flu season often coincides with colder weather, they are not directly related.

10. Myth: Chicken soup can cure the flu

Fact: While chicken soup can soothe a sore throat and provide hydration, it has no specific qualities that can cure the flu.

The flu is predicted to hit NZ early and hard this year. You can protect your whānau from a severe infection with a flu vaccine.

People meeting the following criteria qualify for a FREE flu vaccine from 1st April.

  • Children aged 6 months - 12 years, inclusive
  • People aged 65 years and over
  • Pregnant women (any trimester)
  • Māori and Pacific people aged 55 years and over
  • People under 65 years of age with a range of medical conditions, such as: cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, diabetes, chronic renal disease, cancer, HIV, autoimmune disease, immune suppression, immune deficiency, neuromuscular or CNS disease ...(see your doctor for the full list)
  • People under 65 years of age who have a mental health condition, such as schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, or schizoaffective disorder, OR are currently accessing secondary or tertiary mental health and addiction services.

For everyone else, it is just $30.

No appointment needed. Head straight into your local clinic and let the receptionist know that you are there for a flu vaccine.

Prefer to book? Complete the booking form here and our call centre will be in touch to help you with that.