Test your knowledge about this vital annual vaccine.
If you received a flu shot last year, you don’t need to get another one.
False. The flu evolves and so does the vaccine formula. It changes year to year to guard against predicted strains.
Everyone should get a flu shot.
Mostly True. With a few exceptions, everyone age 6 months and older should be vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A flu shot is the only way to protect yourself against the flu.
False. It is the best way to avoid the flu, but you can do other things:
- Certain foods, such as black eyed peas, are rich in zinc — a trace mineral that keeps the immune system functioning — and may help defend against flu.
- The probiotics in some yogurts can help you build good gut bacteria, which play a role in warding off viral infections.
- Green, black and oolong teas contain flu-risk lowering compounds, such as amino acid L-theanine and the flavanol antioxidant quercetin. Salmon, which is high in vitamin D, can also boost the immune system to fight bacteria and viruses.
- When you’re well, regular exercise has a positive long-term affect on the immune system, which lowers your chance of catching viral infections or other contagious illnesses.