It’s simple: Get the shot

Published 9:55 am Tuesday, November 3, 2015

You’re going to let a little thing keep you from possibly catching the flu.

Instead of taking advantage of the many, easy and convenient ways to get a flu shot, some of which either come at no cost, or very little cost, you’re going to make every excuse possible to find a way to avoid getting the flu shot and the put yourself, and those you are closest to, at catching the flu.

For those of us who are around this winter, this flu season, we want to thank you for that.

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In today’s world, with information so readily available about the effectiveness of the flu shot, the proof available to bust just about every myth possible, and inarguable evidence as to the reasons to get a flu shot, it remains a mystery why some would make a conscious choice not to get the shot.

Is the flu shot 100 percent effective? No. Is there a chance even with getting the flu shot that you will get the flu? Yes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the flu shot is a good idea for just about everybody, but there a few groups who should make a priority:

• Children aged 6 months through 4 years (59 months);

• People aged 50 years and older;

• People with chronic pulmonary (including asthma), cardiovascular (except hypertension), renal, hepatic, neurologic, hematologic or metabolic disorders (including diabetes mellitus);

• People who are immunosuppressed (including immunosuppression caused by medications or by human immunodeficiency virus);

• Women who are or will be pregnant during the influenza season;

• People who are aged 6 months through 18 years and receiving long-term aspirin therapy and who therefore might be at risk for experiencing Reye syndrome after influenza virus infection;

• People who are residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities;

• People who are morbidly obese (body-mass index is 40 or greater);

• Health-care personnel;

• Household contacts and caregivers of children younger than 5 years and adults aged 50 years and older, with particular emphasis on vaccinating contacts of children aged younger than 6 months; and

• Household contacts and caregivers of people with medical conditions that put them at higher risk for severe complications from influenza.

The worst of the flu season traditionally is not until the first of the year, but getting the flu shot now, simply makes sense and gets you prepared for what might be.

For all of us who are about to spend the holidays with you, sharing close quarters and shaking hands, we ask that you get the flu shot. Don’t be the one we all thank for a gift this season that no one wants.