You might be in the best shape of your life, but if a car veers off the road while you are standing on the corner, you will be eliminated. I was in very good health a few years back when pneumonia put me in the ICU for a few days. Call it the “crap happens” rule. So, the flu virus can do the same…..don’t think you’re so tough that you can always win, and remember the truly weaker ones you might carry the virus to….and the harm you might bring to them. Go get your darn flu shots.
— John Duffy, Physical Therapist (PRHS Mt. Lebanon)
The “weaker ones” Duffy alludes to may be your own children, or your own parents, or a co-worker with a weakened immune system. Getting a flu vaccine may not only save your own life, but it might save the life of someone you know, someone you really care about, or some complete stranger.
Because it is a public health imperative to immunize the general population against influenza virus every year, the government and private sector have partnered to make getting the flu vaccine extremely easy. Doctors offices, hospitals, and pharmacies offer flu vaccines; so do government offices, public and private schools, and businesses. It’s as simple as taking a few minutes out of your day, rolling up your sleeve, and saying, “I’d like a flu vaccine please.” Last week in my office, we gave over 750 flu vaccines to children and parents over the course of three 2-hour-long special flu clinics. (We have three more clinics, and hundreds more vaccines, to go. If clinic times don’t work for families, we’ll make other arrangements to get your kids vaccinated against a very nasty, and potentially life-threatening, illness).
In the last two months we’ve previewed the coming flu season, looked at who should get a flu vaccine (hint: everyone six months of age and older who doesn’t have a medical contraindication), and observed an astronaut giving himself a flu shot in space (and then telling the rest of us it’s our turn to get one). We even asked the question: If you get a flu vaccine (or any vaccine), will that simple act save your life or someone else’s? The answer: We’ll fortunately never know!
I’ve heard every reason why otherwise healthy people neglect or refuse to get annual flu vaccines and debunked common myths regarding these life-savers, only to conclude that there are no more excuses.
If you take a few minutes, read up on the subject, and are still not convinced with what my pal Duffy and I are saying, listen to pediatrician and “Seattle Mama Doc” Wendy Sue Swanson give her reasons why getting your child immunized against influenza is so important. (And, while you’re at it, please read and bookmark her blog. It’s terrific!)
Also watch Dr. Swanson’s other videos on YouTube: