RowanSOM Physician Dispels the "7 Myths About the Flu Vaccine"

Released: 12/19/2013 4:00 PM EST
Source Newsroom: Rowan University
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Newswise — STRATFORD, NJ – Dr. Jennifer Caudle is an assistant professor of Family Medicine at the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine. Over the years in her busy medical practice, she’s heard just about every possible excuse or misconception about the annual flu vaccine. In a new op-ed on, she tackles these most common myths and misconceptions head on, and explains why every eligible person should be vaccinated against the seasonal flu.

“Every year, it’s the same battle,” Caudle writes on the website. “Every year, I urge my patients to get the influenza vaccine. And every year, they come up with a bucketful of excuses.”

Among the excuses she hears most often: patients are afraid, they think the vaccine will hurt, make them sick or that it simply doesn’t work. Caudle says she understands their concerns, but says the vaccine is safe, effective and essential “to nipping the seasonal bug in the bud.”

Perhaps the most common myth associated with the vaccine is that the shot can actually cause the flu. In her article, Caudle recounts that, when she was a medical student, she became ill a few days after receiving her shot. She notes, however, that it is simply not possible to get influenza from the flu, explaining that, in her case, she may have contracted the virus before the vaccination took full effect or she likely had another type of virus that caused flu-like symptoms.

In countering flu myths, Caudle also points out that “Getting vaccinated not only protects you, but also helps protect others – infants, the elderly and people with certain chronic medical conditions – who may not be able to fight off illness as well as you.”

Because the flu season won’t peak until January or February and can last until May, Caudle says that it’s not too late to vaccinate. She notes that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that vaccinations prevented 79,000 hospitalizations and 6.6 million flu-associated illnesses last year, which was widely considered to be a mild flu season.

About Rowan University
Rowan University is a state-designated public research institution with campuses in Glassboro, Camden and Stratford, N.J., that offers bachelor’s through doctoral programs to 14,000 students. In the past two years, Rowan created a School of Biomedical Sciences; opened the Camden-based Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; and incorporated the School of Osteopathic Medicine, which was a part of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, making Rowan only the second university in the nation to grant both M.D. and D.O. medical degrees. Rowan also is slated to collaborate with Rutgers-Camden to create a new College of Health Sciences in Camden, with degree programs related to the growth of medical services needed in the future. Recently designated by the State as only the second comprehensive public research institution in New Jersey, Rowan plans to increase sponsored research to $100 million per year. These new initiatives will add to Rowan’s Rohrer College of Business and colleges of Communication and Creative Arts, Education, Engineering, Graduate and Continuing Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, Performing Arts, and Science and Mathematics.