Flu Shot: Debunking Common Misconceptions

Mindy Smith, BSPharm, RPh, shares common misconceptions about the flu shot and how providers can advocate for the vaccination to their patients.

Segment Description: Mindy Smith, BSPharm, RPh, VP of Pharmacy Practice Innovation, PrescribeWellness, shares common misconceptions about the flu shot and how providers can advocate for the vaccination to their patients.

Interview Transcript (modified slightly for readability):

“I, as a pharmacist, even have these types of conversations with my friends, neighbors, and family, where there is a misperception of a couple things. One, that you can get the flu from the flu shot, which is absolutely impossible, because the flu vaccine actually has dead virus in it. You can only get the flu from a live virus. Secondly, there also is a misperception from a public perspective, that because the flu vaccine may not cover the entire strain that comes out in the flu season they just don’t need it. They’re going to take their chances and not get the vaccine, where I always advocate—and pharmacists can play a role in advocating for patients—you cannot get the flu no matter what from getting the vaccine.

Now, were you exposed to the vaccine and did it lower your immune system, and then you got the flu? Yes, but you cannot get it directly. But two, I always give your Vegas chances. Why wouldn’t you lower yours? Instead of having an 100% chance of catching the flu, you can lower that to 50%, 60%, 80%, depending on the coverage of the strain for that season—why wouldn’t you do that? And so, I always say, ‘Go get it. I don’t care; I don’t want to hear about it. Go get your flu shot.’”