Arkansas doctor’s post fuels false narratives about the flu vaccine

A functional medicine doctor in Arkansas mocked a physician on social media who stated that their flu infection would have been worse if they hadn’t had their flu shot. The functional medicine doctor claimed that this means the flu vaccine is ineffective. Other social media users who commented on the thread stated they would never get the flu vaccine, citing adverse effects and distrust in conventional medicine.

Risk Level: Low

Recommendation: While these types of social media posts are primarily circulating in vaccine-opponent circles, false claims about the flu vaccine may promote vaccine hesitancy and distrust in guidance from doctors and public health officials. It is recommended doctors in Arkansas be prepared to answer questions about the safety and efficacy of the flu vaccine. Talking points may emphasize that flu vaccination reduces the risk of contracting the flu by between 40 percent and 60 percent. Getting vaccinated against the flu also reduces the risk of flu-related hospitalization and can be life-saving for children. Flu vaccines are safe, and severe adverse reactions are rare.