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The WHO (World Health Organisations) debunks myths about the flu vaccine one by one. Should you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your Link pharmacist.

1. Fiction: Flu is not serious.

Fact: This is a dangerous myth as about 650 000 people die from the flu per year. Most people will recover within a few weeks, but some can develop complications such as sinus and ear infections, pneumonia, heart or brain inflammations.

2. Fiction: The flu vaccine will give me the flu.

Fact: The injected flu vaccine contains an inactivated virus which cannot give you flu. Some people may feel achy or a little feverish, but this is a normal reaction of the immune system to the vaccine, and generally will only last a few days.

3. Fiction: The flu vaccine can cause severe side effects.

Fact: The flu vaccine is proven to be safe, and severe side effects are rare. About one in a million people may get Guillain-Barre Syndrome which can cause muscle weakness and paralysis.

4. Fiction: It doesn’t work – I had the vaccine and I still got the flu.

Fact: The vaccine is specific to one strain, but there are several flu viruses in circulation. This is why some people may still get the flu despite being vaccinated.

5. Fiction: I’m pregnant – I shouldn’t get the flu vaccine.

Fact: The immune systems of pregnant women are weaker than usual so they should get the flu vaccine. The inactivated vaccine is safe at any stage of pregnancy.

Any pregnant person who has questions about vaccines should talk to their health care provider.

It is important to point out that there are certain people who should NOT get a flu vaccination. You need to talk to your doctor or Link pharmacist before having a flu vaccination.

Who should NOT get the flu vaccination?

These are not myths but facts.

The CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) advises against the following people getting vaccinated:

  • Children younger than 6 months of age should not get a flu vaccine.
  • People who have severe, life-threatening allergies found in a flu vaccine, or previously experienced an adverse reaction.
  • People who have had Guillain-Barre disease.
  • People feeling sick at the time.

Now that we’ve debunked some myths about the flu vaccination and clarified who should not get a flu vaccination, you can now go down to your nearest Link Pharmacy to get your flu vaccination. Remember that if you are uncertain, you should always speak to a qualified healthcare provider. Your Link pharmacist is available for advice on how to stay flu-free this winter. Pop into a Link pharmacy and let’s talk about your 2024 flu vaccination!


While all reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this article, information may change or become dated, as new developments occur. The Link group shall not be held liable or accountable for the accuracy, completeness or correctness of any information for any purpose. No content in this article, irrespective of the date or reference source, should be viewed as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor, pharmacist or any other suitably qualified clinician.