Flu myths and the facts

Published on: Tuesday 17 November 2020

False claim: It’s not safe to get my flu jab at the NHS 

Mythbuster #1: The NHS has taken every precaution to protect you and put robust plans in place to provide flu jabs in a COVID-safe way. If you are invited for a flu jab appointment, it's important you attend. It's much safer to get the jab than not.

False claim: The flu jab gives you serious side effects

Mythbuster 2: Only 1 in a million people get serious side effects from the flu jab. Mild side effects are more common, but far less serious than the possible effects of flu which can cause serious illness or death. The flu jab is the best protection for you and those around you.

False claim: The flu vaccine comes with a microchip implant 

Mythbuster #3: An edited video has been shared on social media showing people being implanted with a microchip. This video was about an American company which offered its staff a microchip implant in their finger to buy snacks or use computers and photocopiers. This was not a video of a flu jab and the flu jab does not contain microchips.

False claim: The flu vaccine will give you the flu 

Mythbuster #4: You cannot catch the flu from the flu vaccine. The vaccine contains an inactivated virus which cannot give you flu. It may cause mild side effects such as soreness or aching muscles, a mild fever or feeling unwell, shivery, achy and tired. These are far less serious than the risks of catching the flu.

False claim: The flu vaccine will make you test positive for Covid-19

Mythbuster #5: The flu jab will not make you test positive for coronavirus. The COVID-19 test looks for the specific genetic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 virus. Flu viruses have a very different genetic sequence. The flu vaccine can definitely not affect the result of the COVID-19 test.

False claim: The flu vaccine itself is not safe 

Mythbuster #6: The flu vaccination is safe and effective and must be given annually. It cannot give you the flu. It does not protect you from COVID-19, but it does protect against the strains of flu that will circulate this year.

False claim: The flu shot contains Covid-19  

Mythbuster #7: Recent posts on social media claiming that the flu vaccine contains COVID-19 are false. The flu vaccine has been used for many years and does not contain SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus strain that causes COVID-19. 

False claim: The flu nasal spray can make your child unwell 

Mythbuster #8: The children's nasal spray may cause a runny or blocked nose, headache, tiredness and some loss of appetite. But these symptoms usually end within 2 days and are far less serious than the effects of contracting flu.

False claim: The flu is not serious for children so it’s best to let them catch it

Mythbuster #9: Flu in children can be serious - it can lead to high fever, painful ear infections, acute bronchitis, pneumonia and even hospitalisation. Give your child the free flu vaccine to help protect them and vulnerable family and friends. http://bit.ly/child-flu 

False claim: The nasal flu spray can give your child autism

Mythbuster #10: The nasal flu spray will definitely not give your child autism. The claims that the MMR vaccine causes autism have been discredited many times and there is absolutely no link between the nasal flu spray and autism. More: https://www.nhs.uk/news/medication/no-link-between-mmr-and-autism-major-study-finds/

False claim: The nasal flu spray can give your child Covid

Mythbuster #11: The nasal flu spray has been used for many years and does not contain SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus strain that causes COVID-19. The nasal flu spray will definitely not give your child Covid-19.