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Please Don’t Skip Your Flu Shot

“I hate needles.”

“I really don’t have time.”

“I never get the flu anyway, why should I bother?”

“I don’t care if I get the flu.  I’ve had it before, it’s not that bad.”

“It’s too expensive.”

These are just some of the common reasons millions of people each other skip out on a flu shot. Some are valid excuses, maybe your family doesn’t have insurance and it really would cost a lot, or you really can’t spare a couple hours the next few weeks. But it doesn’t excuse the fact tens of thousands of people are killed in the US by flu or flu related complications.

And you may think, “Well, I’m perfectly healthy, never had the flu before, so I don’t need the shot.” But, many don’t know that you can be carrying the flu virus and not even know it. Sometimes, you can pass on the virus before you get sick, and some may not ever develop symptoms.  Just because you’ve never had it before does not mean you can never get it. The flu is serious business, and even perfectly healthy kids can die from the flu.

Not only are you putting yourself in danger by not getting the vaccine, you are responsible for the deaths of others. Like previously stated, you can pass on the flu without even knowing it. If your own death isn’t enough to motivate you, just think of the pain and loss others would feel from losing their loved one to something completely preventable.

If you just really don’t like needles, you should still consider getting the shot. I’ve had it every year for about five to six years, and I promise it’s only as bad as you make it in your head to be. Maybe think about it like this. Would you rather have a needle in your arm for about five seconds tops, or be in bed for a week, throwing up, feeling miserable, missing important school work, a high fever, congestion, cough, sneezing, etc?

And yes, the flu shot is not always perfect. You can still get the flu two weeks after you get vaccinated, and its only about 60% effective. But those odds are better than 0%.

There are also people who are at a higher risk than normal to die from the flu, including senior citizens, young children, people with asthma, pregnant people, and Native Americans. For the full list, check here on the CDC website.

It’s also never too late to get a flu shot. While you probably should have gone sooner than mid-December, there is still time. Please, don’t let yourself or anyone else to die from this disease. Remember, the flu is mostly preventable.

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Maggie Lambert
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Maggie is a 16 year high school student. Self-identified psychology nerd. Currently trying really hard to be optimistic about the future.

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