Flu Vaccine will save Lives in the Pandemic

Olivia Bachar

Doctor administers flu vaccine 

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

 For years, physicians and pharmacists have urged everyone to get the flu shot. 

If a person is able, without medical reasoning for why not, they should get the flu vaccine to establish “herd immunity.” 

Herd immunity works when, for example, a flu virus is going around in a school with 50 children. 

Ten of those children are medically-compromised and cannot receive a flu vaccine. 

Thirty-five out of the other 40 able-bodied children receive the vaccine. 

The 35 children protect the 10 children with their majority immunity to the flu virus. 

Herd immunity protects not only the children who are vaccinated, but also the ones who are medically unable to receive the vaccine.

     In the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, flu vaccines and herd immunity are more important than ever. It is possible that a person could catch both COVID-19 and the flu at the same time. 

The best way to prevent this is to get the flu vaccine. Herd immunity cannot currently help with COVID-19, however it can help the immuno-compromised avoid catching the two viruses at the same time. 

The immuno-compromised not only includes those with immune disorders, but also younger infants, people with severe allergies to the vaccine ingredients and the elderly. 

     Reasons able-bodied people seem to often give on why they do not get the flu vaccine is because they hate needles or can not find somewhere to get the vaccine. 

The flu vaccine does not come just as a shot. It can also be administered as an egg-preservative free version for vegans and people with egg allergies. 

It is also available as a nasal spray, for fussy children and grown needle-fearers. 

The vaccine is widely available through medical facilities, like a doctor’s office, but also pharmacies and grocery stores. 

Midwestern grocery chain Jewel-Osco even offers a 10 percent discount coupon on groceries for getting the free flu vaccine there. 

     Illinois Wesleyan typically offers free flu vaccines to students, given by the senior nursing students. 

It is currently unknown if this will happen this year, due to social-distancing restrictions. 

If it does, I encourage you to get it at IWU. 

You would not even have to leave campus, simply just walk, pull up your sleeve and get the shot in your arm. 

Getting a single shot that prevents a potentially deadly disease is worth the sore arm the next day. 

Wear that bandage as a symbol of honor, the honor of protection, for yourself and others. 

     A reminder: there is no publicly-available vaccine for COVID-19. However, there is one for the flu virus. The best protection against the flu is the flu vaccine, as masks and social distancing are for COVID-19. 

Both kill people of all ages; also both are highly contagious and spreadable. 

Although this pandemic holds so much uncertainty, there is one thing to be absolutely certain about: the importance of the flu vaccine and the possible repercussions for not receiving one. 

     Usually, repercussions for not receiving the flu vaccine are the chance you get the flu or spread it to the people around you.  With COVID-19 still highly active in our community, there are even more. 

Repercussions like catching the flu and COVID-19 at the same time and spreading the two viruses to other people, which is what can lead to an outbreak. 

To put it simply: please get the flu vaccine.