An elderly man thinks about flu facts

Flu or False?

There have been numerous claims about the Flu and its vaccine. It's time to examine those claims and see which are true and which are false.

It’s time to separate fact from fiction. Test your flu knowledge with this quiz. 

Need hints from an expert? Our Certified Respiratory Educators are just a phone call, email, or web chat away. Reach our Lung Health Line at 1-888-344-LUNG (5864), info@lunghealth.ca, or chat with us live.

True or False?

Most Canadians receive the flu vaccine each year.

False

We’ve got a long way to go! In the 2018/2019 flu season, only 34% of adults aged 18-64 and 70% of those aged 65+ received the flu vaccine.

True or False?

The influenza vaccine is your best defence against the flu.

True

While the vaccine doesn’t totally erase a healthy adult’s flu risk, it does reduce it by up to 60% (we like those odds). That means that some people who get their flu shot will still get the flu. But if they do, they are less likely to experience the flu’s most severe complications, like pneumonia. A person who gets their seasonal flu shot is also less likely to be hospitalized, or have their pre-existing condition (like asthma or COPD) get worse. It’s worth a shot.

True or False?

There’s only one kind of flu vaccine, and it's one-size-fits-all.

False

There are a number of vaccines available to give you the best possible protection, including innovations like new non-egg, cell-based options. If you’re over age 65, or have a chronic lung condition, ask your healthcare provider how you can protect your lungs even more with a high-dose flu vaccine and the pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine.

True or False?

The flu vaccine does NOT increase your COVID-19 risk.

True

A Canadian research study found the flu vaccine significantly reduces your risk of influenza illness with no effect on your risk of infection with coronaviruses or other non-influenza respiratory viruses. The flu shot really does give you #OneLessThing to worry about.
View the study

True or False?

The flu vaccine can’t give you the flu.

True

The vaccine you receive has an inactivated or weakened influenza virus. Relax – it can’t give you the flu.

If you do develop symptoms within two weeks of getting your vaccine, you probably already had the virus without even knowing it. Symptoms can also be a result of your body’s immune system working hard to build immunity. Remember: the most common reactions to the vaccine itself are much less severe than symptoms of the actual flu.

True or False?

The influenza vaccine only protects you.

False

Mask wearing and physical distancing have armed us with the ability to help protect others. It’s time to add flu vaccination to that list.

Getting your annual flu shot is an important way to help protect yourself, your family and your community against influenza. If we all do our part by getting the flu shot, we can also help reduce the burden on our health-care system.

True or False?

What’s the big deal? The flu is just a bad cold.

False

The “common cold” and flu share a few symptoms, but they are caused by different viruses. While most people will recover from the flu in seven-to-10 days, it can be deadly for others. The flu causes about 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths in Canada each year.

Want to tell the difference between a cold and the flu? Scroll up to our handy symptom comparison chart!

In case you missed it:  Flu or False? Let’s Ask a Pharmacist

On November 4, pharmacist Umberto Leone and Certified Respiratory Educator Chris Haromy set out to unpack some of the biggest myths about the flu shot.

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