Influenza Myth Busters

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We have gathered together some of the most common flu related questions we hear each year.

1. If I have never had the flu will I be likely to get it in the future?

Yes, we are all at risk of catching the flu each year. The strains of flu change each year and the vaccination is manufactured according to the northern winter. The requirements for different strands of flu are developed each year. Each person needs to be vaccinated each year.

2. Will I get the flu from the vaccination?

No, a flu shot cannot give you the flu. People often report feeling ill in the days after their flu vaccination. This is completely normal and is just a minor reaction to the injection. The flu itself is much more serious, it can be debilitating and lasts for weeks.

3. What is a live vaccine?

Live, attenuated vaccines contain a version of the living microbe that has been weakened in the lab so it can’t cause disease. Because a live, attenuated vaccine is the closest thing to a natural infection, these vaccines are good “teachers” of the immune system:

4. I got the vaccination last year and still got the flu.

The flu vaccination covers 3–4 of the most common strains for that season. It is possible that another strain could come into the country and contracted by somebody who has been vaccinated. However, it is more likely that the illness was just a common cold.

5. I’m fit and healthy and have never had flu before, I don’t think I need a vaccination.

Even when you are fit and active, immunisation is still the best protection against influenza. During the winter months when immune systems are functioning slower than usual, we are all at risk.

6. What is the difference between a the flu and a cold?


  • Moderate to severe illness
  • Lasts 7–10 days
  • High fever
  • Shivering
  • Muscle aches
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Unable to complete daily tasks/often can’t get out of bed


  • Mild illness
  • Lasts a few days
  • Mild fever
  • Runny nose
  • Mild muscle pain
  • Mild headache
  • Occasional cough
  • Still able to complete most daily tasks, although they will be harder than usual
7. What should I do if I get the flu?
  • Stay at home
  • Rest until temperature is normal and you are feeling well
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • If over 18, use aspirin and paracetamol for fever and aches
  • See your doctor within 48 hours
  • See your doctor if symptoms get worse
  • Always seek medical advice if you are worried

For those with ongoing medical conditions or over the age of 65, complications can be much worse. See your doctor immediately.

NZProvide is still taking bookings for onsite flu clinics and our offsite, pharmacy based vouchers. Get in touch today to start planning your workplace flu programme.