Importance of Getting Your Flu Shot


(Image via City of Newark)

Morgan Cottrill, Writer

It’s that time of year when kids are back in school, fall is beginning and this means germs are spreading and colds and flu season has begun. You can wash your hands, you can make sure you cover when you cough, but there is only so much you can do to prevent getting sick. When you get a flu shot it helps you to not catch the flu. Almost everyone goes and gets this shot but if you think about it it’s usually just because your parents take you and you don’t really have a say or care and then get the shot and it’s done with. But have you ever really thought about how it’s actually quite important when you get your shot or how it might problem when or if people don’t get a flu shot.

Lots of people every year go and get this flu shot but they don’t think about it. Some people have begun to question why they do it or why it’s important. It is very important to get your flu shot not only for you but for others around you. It’s not fair if you go into school without a vaccination because then you are a perfect candidate for the flu colds and germs. Then you will spread them to others and no one wants to get sick so don’t get them sick. Also, why would you not want to get it and then be sick? Being sick is no fun, especially when it’s the flu. 5-20% of the U.S population gets affected but the flu every year. That may seem like a small number compared to the U.S population but there are about 319 million people in the US and just 5% of that it 15,950,000 people out that 319 million. That’s a lot of people. I don’t think you want to one of those people and if we all just get our shot then we can help reduce that number.   

I know some people don’t believe in getting shots for vaccination and that’s okay, believe what you want. Just keep in mind that you then have to be careful because you don’t want to spread things to others. If you are not going to get your flu vaccine for whatever reason then make sure you are always washing your hands and that you are doing things to keep you and others from getting the flu. You may also just not get your shot because you think well it’s not a 100% guarantee that I won’t get sick then why get it all. You may say well I always get sick anyways. That might be true but getting the shot can still be helpful because then your body is still getting exposed to those strains and if they happen to come around aging your body already has built up a resistance. It is important to think about others as well as yourself.  Especially if you are around the elderly or young children. The shot may not be a 100% guarantee, but you are helping others.

If you don’t get your flu shot then here are some ways to avoid getting it. You can stand at least three feet away for anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Also, keeping your hand away from yours and others’ faces. Cleaning communal surfaces before and after you and others use them. Washing hands or wearing gloves as well as making sure you keep used tissue away from you and others and disposing of them right away. Of course, always covering when you cough or sneeze is a must. Although it would be great if everyone always did all of these things but it’s a lot to keep track of and do all of these things all the time. So all that effort or you could just get your flu shot and not have to worry as much and neither will others around you.

Some people think that it isn’t possible for them to get a flu shot but anyone can. You might think this because you and your parents don’t have health care or you don’t have a doctor’s office to go to but you don’t need any of that and almost anyone can for free. At almost every Safeway they offer free flu shots with no need for setting an appointment. You can simply just go to your local Safeway pharmacy. If you don’t have a local Safeway, Albertsons, and Rite Aid are all in the same family of Safeway and provide the same thing and all you need is you and your Guardian.   

People are starting to believe that getting a flu shot is bad for you but let me assure you that you are doing the right thing and that it is not bad for you and won’t hurt you. That’s just not true because the shot only gives you a very small amount of these flu strains just enough for your body to get you antibodies to fight it off and create you might get the flu from it or that it could an immunity to the virus. Once your body fights off the strain you are given you can’t get the same ones again. These strains and chosen by experts that analyze them to see which ones are going to thrive and most likely spread this year.   

Now when you go and get your flu shot, think about the good you’re doing and how this year you feel great and not have to worry about the flu. If you don’t want to get it or think you can then consider some of the ways you could. Or the ways you would be helping yourself and others if you did. I and many others will appreciate it when you get the flu shot.