Our view: Reasons aplenty to get a flu shot nowAnyone still looking for a reason to go get a flu shot, here’s one: Flu season started early this year in Minnesota, according to the state Department of Health. The virus already is circulating.
Anyone still looking for a reason to go get a flu shot, here’s one: Flu season started early this year in Minnesota, according to the state Department of Health. The virus already is circulating.
Here’s another: The flu can be serious. Last year more than 500 Minnesotans wound up in the hospital.
And another: No one wants to be sick for the holidays.
And another: If you’re scared of needles, you can get vaccinated with a quick blast of nasal spray instead. Or with a teeny-weeny needle that gets the vaccine into the skin layers only.
And yet another: Finding the next or the nearest flu shot clinic is as easy as clicking a mouse. The Minnesota Department of Health’s influenza site is at mdhflu.com.
And here’s another: Minnesota’s annual “Ban the Bug” campaign is coming soon: Dec. 2-8. The Minnesota Department of Health, Minnesota Coalition for Adult Immunization, local public-health agencies, health-care providers and others are working together to get out the word about the importance of getting a flu shot. And every year, too, they say. The virus changes, meaning the vaccine has to, also, meaning you need to be updated annually. There are two new strains this year, for example, plus H1N1.
The Minnesota Department of Health recommends flu vaccinations for anyone 6 months and older unless they can’t be vaccinated for a medical reason. “It is especially important that those at high risk for serious complications from influenza be vaccinated,” according to the department. “These include pregnant women, seniors, young children and those with chronic medical conditions.”
And here’s one last reason to remember to get your flu shot now: No one has to go to the doctor anymore to be vaccinated. You can go there, but you can more easily hit a flu-shot clinic at work or at the mall or at a community center or at another convenient location. Nowadays, you can even get a flu shot at a retail pharmacy like Walgreens.
“The best way to reduce your risk of serious illness is with vaccination. … While the vaccine doesn’t offer perfect protection, if you don’t get vaccinated, you have zero protection,” Kris Ehresmann, director of the state Department of Health’s Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Control division, said in a statement distributed to media yesterday. “By getting vaccinated for influenza now, you can greatly reduce your chances of getting influenza — or spreading it to someone else — during the busy holiday season.
“With so many options, it’s hard to imagine why anyone who could get vaccinated wouldn’t,” she said.
Maybe they just needed to hear a good reason. Or several.