‘You cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine. Ever. No matter what anyone’s told you.’: Certified medical professional urges us to ‘save one another,’ breaks down flu shot myths and facts

“Welp, I went and did it. I read the comments on someone’s flu vaccine post and in the process lost 5,642 brain cells that I can never have back. I’m going to say this real clear so hopefully someone hears my voice louder than Lindsey the bartender who identifies as a ‘health wellness coach’ because she was ‘certified’ by DoTerra essential oils company. At least I can sleep at night knowing that my friends list (and whomever they share this with) heard the voice of an ACTUAL certified medical professional.

1. You cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine. Ever. No matter what anyone’s told you. You CAN get an immune response such as low-grade fever, mild inflammation, or local redness and swelling. This is GOOD. It means your body is fighting the inactivated virus it’s been exposed to and it will build immune cells specific to fighting that virus if it ever sees it again. Hence, the entire premise behind getting vaccinated. It takes your body about two weeks to build fighter cells and for the vaccine to reach its maximum protectiveness. If you get sick within a week or two of receiving the vaccine, then you were exposed to influenza and hadn’t yet received protection from your vaccine. Crappy timing. Period.

2. The vaccine does NOT cause strokes, auto-immune diseases, or severe allergic reactions. There is a very small percentage of people whose bodies do not react normally and therefore those people should not receive the vaccine. Let me put it this way; I swell up like Violet in the Willy Wonka factory if I eat avocado. I think we can all agree that avocados aren’t dangerous. My body is the problem, not the food. Likewise, the vaccine is safe, but like all things (even avocados), it can be dangerous for certain people. I cannot stress enough how rare this is, even though literally every online guru with a degree in alternative wellness claims to know someone it’s happened to.

3. If you’re healthy, good for you. No, seriously, good for you. You have the luxury of deciding whether or not you want to get poked. If you get the flu, you’ll miss a couple days of school, maybe a week off of work and then you’ll return to your life. That’s not the case for many people in our community. When healthy people vaccinate, we protect the newborns and the grandparents and the chemo patients and the ones who truly cannot receive the vaccine. It’s called herd immunity, and it’s the cornerstone of a healthy society.

4. You did not get the ‘stomach flu’ from the influenza vaccine. The stomach virus commonly called the ‘stomach flu’ is not a flu at all. Stomach viruses are commonly caused by novovirus or norovirus, not influenza. If you have symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea with a fever right after receiving the flu vaccine you are the unfortunate recipient of a sad coincidence. This sad coincidence is not uncommon since peak seasons of these virus’ activity overlap. I know you don’t want that to be true, but, science. In that same vein, if you get ‘the stomach flu’ on a year you’ve received the influenza vaccine, your vaccine did not fail. The vaccine you received does not protect against stomach virus. Stay tuned though, vaccines for these viruses are all but guaranteed to be common in the coming years!

5. The drug companies and the CDC and all doctors and all nurses and everyone ever who advocated for vaccination are all paid by and/or brainwashed by big pharma to sell these vaccines by convincing others. Yeah…just no. I’ve never received a check or any other compensation from anyone to advocate for vaccinations of any kind. I don’t know a single person in the medical field (and I know a lot) who has ever received a bribe. I’m just about the most cynical, skeptical human out there and I require a lot of research and data to formulate my opinions. Again, most of my colleagues are no different. If I really wanted to look out for number 1 (me), wouldn’t I try to drum up business at my ER by convincing others NOT to get the flu shots? Wouldn’t I WANT people to become sick so I had job security? Think about it people. This rationale is just ass backwards. I advocate for vaccines because I’ve held a newborn with fever while the doctor does a lumbar puncture. Because I’ve put a grandfather on a ventilator who couldn’t breathe and because I’ve put the final drape over a mother of 3’s face after she beat breast cancer, but died of the flu. I did all of this knowing full well that it was preventable. We had the ability to save those people as a society and we failed because of the Lindseys in this world that prey on people’s poor understanding and fear.

So, who are you going to trust on this one, me or Lindsey?

XOXO. Save each other. Vaccinate!”

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Courtesy of Beth Purkey

This story was written by Beth Purkey, and originally appeared here. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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