Flu season has officially arrived, meaning many will head to the medical centre to get a flu jab to stimulate their immune system. Vaccines are the most effective way to prevent infectious diseases. However, some reports have recently suggested the flu vaccine is laced with cancer-causing ingredients. Here, Express.co.uk debunk the health myth.
Earlier this year, Meddaily claimed on Facebook the flu vaccine is laced with cancer-causing ingredients.
The website provided no credible evidence in the story, with a headline reading: “Doctor blows whistle on flu shot: ‘it’s designed to spread cancer’”.
Aaron Carroll, a paediatrics professor at Indiana University said: “What does this even mean?
“Wouldn’t you need evidence that it’s ‘designed to spread cancer’ to make such a claim?
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“I mean, you’d have to think the absolute worst about humanity, including paediatricians, to believe that.”
Be aware that similar anti-vaccine stories like this are spread online through social media.
They may not be based on scientific evidence and could put your child at risk of a serious illness.
William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University, said approximately 120 million to 150 million doses of the flu jab are given in the US alone.
This, in addition to millions of doses in other countries.
Dr Schaffner said: ”Would the World Health Organization be promoting a cancer-promoting product? No.”
NHS also urges people to be aware of anti-vaccine stories online.
In a statement labelled “important”, it said: “Be aware that anti-vaccine stories are spread online through social media.
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“They may not be based on scientific evidence and could put your child at risk of a serious illness.”
Taking the flu vaccine when having cancer can save your life.
Anyone who has flu feels pretty awful but most healthy people recover within a few days, as their immune system gets rid of the virus.
But if a person has cancer the disease or its treatment can lower your resistance to infection.
Doctors call this immunosuppression or being immunocompromised and you may be more at risk of catching the flu if this applies to you.
According to Cancer Research UK, “if you do get flu and have low immunity you are more likely to become very ill and get complications such as chest infections (pneumonia).”
It added: “The flu vaccination makes it less likely that you will catch flu.
“If you have had the vaccine and do get flu you are likely to recover more quickly and are less likely to get complications.”
What are the side effects of Flu jab?
According to the NHS, after the flu vaccination, you may get “a mild fever and slight muscle aches” for a day or so.
The health organisation added some people may have a sore arm after vaccination.
For example, if you’re aged 65 or over and having the adjuvanted flu vaccine.
The following groups are eligible for a free vaccine in 2019:
- All children aged two to ten by August 31 2019
- Pregnant women
- People aged 65 years or over
- Residents of long-term care homes
- People close to immunocompromised individuals
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