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Worried about the flu shot? Here are myths, debunked

Rogelio V. Solis / AP

Do you know what's truth and fiction, when it comes to flu shots?

By Prevention editors
Prevention.com

One in five Americans will get the flu this winter, with more than 200,000 sick enough to be hospitalized. Yet most of us still don't get vaccinated, often because of misconceptions about the shot. Here are four of the most common, along with the facts you need to know.

Myth
Only the elderly and those at high risk need to be immunized.

Fact
Influenza can make anyone, including the healthiest among us, seriously ill, and even if you don't develop symptoms yourself, you can pass the virus on to others.

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Myth
The flu shot itself can give you a case of the flu.

Fact
The virus used in the vaccine is grown in chicken eggs and killed off before it reaches your bloodstream. There's absolutely nothing in it capable of causing the flu.

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Myth
You need a doctor's appointment for a shot. Who has time?

Fact
Drugstores and health clinics across the country provide walk-in vaccinations, and more and more local health organizations are setting up drive-through flu shot clinics.

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Myth
If I have a cold, I should postpone getting a flu shot.

Fact
As long as you're not suffering from a major illness or running a temperature higher than 101°F, the flu shot doesn't present a health risk for you, according to experts.

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More Links from Prevention:
Best and Worst Natural Cold and Flu Remedies
Boost Your Immune System with Yoga
Visit the Prevention's Cold & Flu center for tips on how-to germ-proof your life
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