Public Health busts flu shot myths

Public Health officials say research that says vaccines like the flu shot cause autism has been discredited and is not true

With flu season approaching, the Public Health Department wants to steer you away from any misconceptions about the flu vaccine.

One anti-vaccine myth says vaccines like the flu shot cause autism. Public Health doctors say this research has been discredited and is not true. Another anti-vaccine myth is that you get the flu when you get the flu shot. Again, this is not true for a variety of reasons.

"It may be that the guess was off and we may have a different circulated strand than the one that the flu shot is offering protection for or it may be that there was not enough time to develop immunity," says District Health Director Dr. Jacqueline Grant.

Grant also says the flu shot does not contain a live flu virus. FluMist, on the other hand, does contain a weakened live virus, but official say it is still extremely rare to get the flu from FluMist.

The last flu shot misconception says the mercury preservative used to keep multi-dose packs of flu shots from going bad will cause cancer. Doctors say there is too little of the mercury in the vaccine to cause cancer.

The Public Health Department has not received the flu vaccines yet. They are expecting them to arrive in late September.