Flu Vaccine will save Lives in the Pandemic

Olivia Bachar

Doctor administers flu vaccine 

Photo: Unsplash

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

If a person is able, unless there is a medical reason not to, 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. 

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

35 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. 

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) promotes Herd immunity which protects not only the children who are vaccinated, but also the ones who are medically unable to receive the vaccine.

   Flu vaccines and herd immunity are especially important in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. 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 CDC defines “immuno-compromised” as not only 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. The CDC says that it can also be administered as an egg-preservative free version for vegans and people with egg allergies. 

And according to the National Safety Council (NSC) it is also available as a nasal spray, for fussy children and grown-up needle-fearers. 

The vaccine is widely available with most insurance 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. Some other places that give out flu shots include Walgreens, Urgent Care and Walmart.

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, but we can protect ourselves and others from the flu by getting the flu vaccine. The NSC says that 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, the repercussions include 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, for yourself, and for everyone else in the “herd.”