Doctor says flu shot does not give you the flu

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Mid-South doctors say every flu season can be dangerous for people who are either very young or old.

Doctor Jeff Mullins of Methodist Medical Group said a flu shot doesn't guarantee you won't get the flu but it will at least shorten the duration.

Mullins said the best time to get the flu shot is around the end of October.

"A flu shot does not last a year," Dr. Mullins said. "It lasts four to six months, and there's some pharmacies locally that have already given flu shots. I think it's a bit early to be getting flu shots. I always tell my patients to remember Halloween flu vaccine."

If you do get the flu shot, it takes about two weeks before you get protection from the flu.

Flu season can begin in November, with a peak in January and February.

Mullins said Memphis has a hard time with influenza due to the kind of businesses in the area.

"We're a transportation hub; we have lots of stuff coming in from out of town and being moved on," Mullins said, "Lots of people traveling through Memphis to get to other places probably puts us at a little more risk."

Mullins said the myth that the flu shot can give you the flu may have been the case in the past, but is not true anymore.

"Years ago in which they used continuated live vaccine for the flu shot and you were getting injected with the live vaccine and some people actually got sick. Some people got deathly ill from it, and they still remember that."

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