Flu jabs won't give you the virus

HAVING a flu jab won’t give you the flu but that doesn’t stop one in five Australians believing the myth.

A poll commissioned by a vaccine maker shows almost 20 per cent of Australians opt out of having the jab because they think it will give them the virus.

“This is one of the most common myths associated with the flu shot,” said Dr Camilla Chong, medical director at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

“The fact is you cannot get influenza from the flu shot because the virus contained in it cannot cause infection.

“The mild flu-like symptoms people experience after a flu shot are, in fact, the signs that your body is hard at work mounting a response to protect you against the influenza virus.”

Other major reasons why people say they won’t get inoculated are that it was not a priority (40 per cent) while many also “don’t believe in” the flu vaccine (38 per cent).

GSK commissioned a poll of more than 1000 Australian adults.

The research also found women who have the flu were more proactive when it came to avoiding passing on the infection, particularly to a partner.

Women with the flu were more likely than men to try to avoid kissing (73 per cent to 63 per cent), and to also avoid having sex (61 per cent compared to 47 per cent).

Almost one in three (29 per cent) of all the adults nominated their workplace as the site they were mostly likely to be exposed to influenza, while 90 per cent said bosses should send any sick workers home.

Two thirds of Australians (65 per cent) also said they avoided any colleagues who had the flu.

“Now winter is here, it is important for all Australians to remain vigilant against unnecessary exposure to the influenza virus and practise preventative measures to limit its spread,” Dr Chong said.

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