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Medical Experts Separate Fact From Fiction And Weigh In On Common Myths Surrounding The Flu Vaccine

Mayor Bloomberg gets flu shot from pharmacist Barbara Naprawa at Duane Reade in lower Manhattan Oct. 25, 2012 (credit: Rich Lamb/WCBS 880)

Mayor Bloomberg gets flu shot from pharmacist Barbara Naprawa at Duane Reade in lower Manhattan Oct. 25, 2012 (credit: Rich Lamb/WCBS 880)

CBS New York (con't)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Doctors in the New York area are telling everybody to get vaccinated, but those suggestions are being met with resistance from some who still have mistaken beliefs about the flu vaccine.

The vaccine is quick, easy, and often free but only about a third of the population will get vaccinated, possibly because of some of the myths associated with the vaccine. Many people may believe that getting a flu shot will mean that they will get the flu, experts explained.

“The way the vaccine is prepared, it’s completely inactivate, killed so that when it’s injected into you there’s no way it can multiply and cause disease. It’s a completely dead virus,” Dr Lawrence Stanberry of Morgan-Stanley Children’s Hospital, told CBS 2’s Dr Max Gomez.

Dr Stanberry is the editor of a major textbook on vaccines and told CBS 2 that the flu vaccine can provide protection against even the nastiest strains of the flu, and that youth alone will not make a person immune.

“Every year we see a number of patients that get admitted to the hospital, who are in the prime of their life, who are profoundly affected and die as a consequence,” explained Dr Stanberry.

Others believe that they don’t need to get a flu shot, because ‘everybody else has gotten one’, but Dr Stanberry said that ‘community immunity’ is not an effective form of prevention in a big city.

“In a city like New York you’re going to be exposed no matter how many people you think have been immunized,” he said.

Center For Disease Control spokesman Curtis Allen told 1010 WINS that getting vaccinated can also help protect your family.

“Because if you have the flu you can spread it, but if you don’t have the flu you won’t be taking it home to an elderly grandparent or children, who are at higher risk,” he said.

For those who still aren’t convinced, doctor’s said that hand washing alone is not enough to stop the virus, and that eventually almost everybody will be exposed.

Have you been vaccinated yet? Tell us why or why not in our comments section below…