Health department debunks myths associated with flu shot


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The Ingham County Health Department is pushing to fight the flu by hosting vaccination clinics as the winter months draw near, but officials say some myths about the flu shot often keep people away from those clinics.

“People can get really sick from the flu and people can die from the flu, so especially young people and older adults, we want to make sure they get vaccinated,” said Wendy Ridenour, the Immunization Program Supervisor at the Ingham County Health Department.

But what comes with the flu shot, comes a few myths.

“Probably the most common one that people think is that they can get the flu from the flu vaccine, and that’s impossible to get the flu. It’s a dead virus so it can’t come back and infect you,” said Ridenour.

Other rumors include the shot causes Alzheimer’s disease and autism.

“With those myths, there’s been plenty of studies out there and nothing has been proven that vaccines cause autism, immune disorders, anything like that,” said Ridenour.

6 News took this idea to Facebook, asking viewers if they agree with getting the flu shot or not, with some saying ‘no’ because they’re afraid of getting sick, and some saying ‘yes’ to try and keep their families safe.

“We know how contagious the flu is and the biggest complication being pneumonia, and we want to protect against that,” said Carrie Palmer-Berry, a mother from Lansing.

Palmer-Berry decided to have her son vaccinated today and says it’s an important step to keep him healthy.

“Not only does it protect our family but also, you know, helps protect the others in the community as well,” said Palmer-Berry.

But despite the rumors associated with the shot, Ingham County health officials say the number one way to avoid the flu is to get vaccinated.

“Flu is unpredictable so you want to get it as soon as possible so that you’re protected for the whole season,” said Ridenour.

If you missed out on today’s clinic, the health department will be holding another one later this month on October 24th. For more information and full details, head over to Seen on 6.

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