Home / Op-Ed / Give it a (flu) shot

Give it a (flu) shot

author: alex lawlor | staff writer

Credit: Don Irvine

It’s not like the immunization clinics are impossible to get to

I hate being sick. I can’t stand not being able to do anything because my body just isn’t cooperating. So, this flu season, it’s too bad that there’s nothing you can do as an attempt to not get bogged down with the flu… Oh, wait! There is. Science! Vaccines against the flu are most definitely a thing. So, why is it that the turnout of people going to get them was super low this year?

There are always people that have their reasons for not getting a flu shot. However, one of the most common beliefs is that since they haven’t gotten the flu in years, they don’t need to be immunized. Rick Mercer answers this belief nicely in his rant on getting the flu shot, by stating, “I have never been run over by a car, so why would I look both ways?”

Even though the flu doesn’t seem like a big deal, there are many people who have immune systems that are unable to fight even small viruses like influenza, and many people will die from the flu each year. Even if your body is healthy enough to fight it off, what if you pass it on to someone whose body isn’t so capable? They could die. Therefore, really, getting a flu shot doesn’t just protect you, but it also protects everyone around you. This is especially something to think about if you’re spending a lot of time with children or senior citizens, who will often have weaker immune systems.

According to the Saskatchewan seasonal influenza vaccine poster, people who may be at risk of serious illness from influenza include those with chronic health conditions, adults 65 years of age or older, pregnant women, people with severe obesity, residents of a nursing home, and children aged six months to five years old. The poster recommends that these people, as well as people who may be in contact with people at serious risk, get the flu vaccine in order to protect themselves and the people around them.

For some reason, pretty much everything involved with health has an abundance of rumours surrounding it, and the influenza vaccine is no different. However, pretty much all of these myths are proven to be just that – myths. For one, getting a flu shot will not make you sick, and it’s only a coincidence if you get sick around the same time. There’s also the myth that the flu shot doesn’t work, or the myth that if you get the vaccine once, you never need another one. As I said before, all of these myths have been proven to be wrong.

It’s not like the immunization clinics are impossible to get to, or are super expensive. The seasonal influenza vaccine is provided free of charge at clinics in various locations in Saskatchewan all throughout November. I got mine here at the university on one of the days they hosted a clinic in the Research and Innovation Centre. After you got the shot, they gave out popcorn…so, really, why not get a flu shot?!

About Alexa Lawlor