Have you had your annual flu shot? Each year at this time I am compelled to write about the upcoming flu season and the ever prevailing need to get a yearly flu shot. This year is no exception because you and I know by now that every flu season is different and there is never any way to predict whether it is going to be a mild season or one that sends many individuals scurrying to the doctor for treatment of flu symptoms. The best protection from the flu is to get vaccinated and to do it soon if you have not already done so! If you want to read all about why you should have a flu shot you can go to the expert reference found at the bottom of this article. It will give you all the updated information regarding this years’ flu season. We know that there are some people who cannot receive vaccines for a variety of reasons. For the rest of us, there are plenty of reasons to get a flu shot! If you are still undecided, here are my reasons for having a flu shot each year. I hope my reasons help you to decide to protect your health with a flu shot this year!
Getting the flu shot each year is part of my staying healthy plan. I didn’t get the flu shot about twelve years ago, had the flu and wished that I were dead before I recovered! I don’t relish lying around in bed for five days then feeling wrung out afterwards while I could be doing something fun or not wishing that I were dead! I don’t want to miss time with family, especially my grandchildren, because of an illness that I could possibly have prevented. Getting the flu shot is far less toxic to my body than the flu, cough syrup, antibiotics and fever medication or ending up in the hospital with IV medication in my arm. Getting the flu shot is far less toxic than having to sit in the doctor’s office with a bunch of sick people and be exposed to other germs that might be in the waiting room. I have better things to spend my money on than cough syrup, antibiotics, doctor’s visits or hospitalization. Being sick for any reason is too time consuming and costly! I don’t want to risk damaging my lungs from all the coughing that I will do if I have the flu. I don’t want to have to ask other people to care for me when I could have possibly prevented the illness in the first place. (Of course we know that there is no guarantee that the shot will cover all strains of the flu, but I will have done my part to at least cover the ones that are covered.) I would feel very guilty if I gave the flu to someone else. I lived through the polio epidemic when there was no polio vaccine! I saw people that I knew get polio! I was very scared, as were my parents and my friends, and I was also very lucky! I really do not like the thought of having a disease that I could have prevented if a vaccine were available! Would I not give my dog rabies shots because there is a good chance that he will never come in contact with a rabid animal? So, why do I get a flu shot each year? Because I love my family and friends! For a thorough reference on the 2016 - 2017 flu season and shot go to: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Influenza (Flu), “Frequently Asked Flu Questions 2016 -2017 Influenza Season,” cdc.org. Connie Pearson, RN, MN, Chair
Health Ministries Task Force