Should you get vaccinated for the flu this year? The short answer is yes; but why? According to Harvard Medical School, at least 36,000 people die of influenza each year in the United States alone. That’s a lot, and they aren’t all chronically ill people or people with terrible immune systems, some of them are people just like you. Statistically, however, the likelihood of dying of flu in this day and age is slim, but there are still compelling reasons to vaccinate.
- Playing your part: We all live in a community, whether that is Blair, the US, or the wider world, and to maintain a healthy society, we all need to do our part to reduce the spread of disease. Even if you think you probably won’t get the flu, you don’t want to be the one to give it to your friend, either. Consider it your civic duty.
- Close quarters: We go to a boarding school. We are around people 24/7, and this increases the risk of spreading disease. The salad bar, the door to your dorm room, shaking hands, high fives, the back of your chair as you pull it out. Chances are hundreds of other people have touched that same surface.
- Give yourself an immune boost: Even if you think you won’t get sick, getting the vaccine significantly reduces the risk of falling ill. You don’t want to miss class and not be able to catch back up very easily, right?
- It can’t hurt: Well the shot will, but it will hurt a lot less than a week of headaches, fever, cold sweats, and various other awful symptoms.
Now you know why you need to get your vaccine, and I hope you do get yours, but even after that you will still need to employ other preventative measures: wash your hands (yeah, really do that, it’s good for you), eat well, and wear a coat when it’s cold. Let’s each do our part.