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October 27, 2017 06:10 PM

Real Or Fake: Flu Shot Myths

Flu season is here. Already three cases have been reported in South Dakota. 
Officials are warning you to get your flu shot. But, along with every flu season comes misinformation on the Internet. 

So, what's real or fake? 

Flu shots are controversial for a number of reasons. One - the idea that you can get the flu from getting vaccinated. That's fake. 

The vaccine is sometimes made containing what's known as an "inactive" virus according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 

That means you can't get sick from getting the shot. 

"You can get a reaction.. and some people will feel a little under the weather, muscle soreness, maybe even a low-grade temp, but that is not influenza," said Dr. Aaron Zylstra, Pediatrician, Sanford Childrens. 

Several studies have shown that when comparing people who got the "inactivated" flu shot with others who got a salt water shot, the only differences were increased soreness and redness with the flu shot. The CDC says there was no difference in flu-like symptoms. 

Another concern: Does a flu shot contain mercury? That's real. 

There's an ingredient in many flu shots called Thimerosal. It's used a preservative for the vaccine and contains 50-percent mercury. 

Don't worry, a spokesperson for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration tell KELOLAND Investigates that studies across the world prove it's safe. 

Plus, there's not much Thimerosal in the vaccine. The FDA says it's about the same amount of mercury as in a 3-ounce can of tuna fish.

Parents: If your child is 6 or younger, they likely won't get a vaccine containing any Thimerosal. Teens and adults can also request a flu shot without the preservative. 

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