Getting a flu shot helps others, too

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 7, 2015

I got my first ever flu shot this year. In the past I did not have a solid reason for skipping the vaccination, and the fact I had not rolled up my sleeve was mostly due to shear laziness.

So why did I change my mind this year? The initial reason was because we needed a picture of someone getting the vaccination for the story I wrote in the paper last week, so in lieu of trying to find a warm body willing to pose for the “shot,” I said I would be the recipient.

I can assure all of those afraid of pain, it was minimal.

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Biting your tongue, stubbing your toe or having a hangnail are all much more annoying than the little prick of the needle used to administer the injection.

When I returned to work, I was pleased to announce to my co-workers I was no longer a flu-shot virgin. I had crossed over the Rubicon. (Crossing the Rubicon is a saying my mom said my grandmother used when someone did something that could then not be revoked.)

Annulling my flu shot was impossible, and after learning the importance of being vaccinated, I plan to continue getting immunized every year.

It is imperative for all of us to take care of our health, but what really made a difference for me was learning that getting the flu shot is my responsibility to others.

I certainly would not want to endure a fever, body aches, diarrhea and vomiting, but the last thing I would want to do it spread the flu to someone else.

In my interview with Dr. Janell Vinson, a pediatrician at Merit Health River Region, I learned that getting a flu shot is not just for my protection, but it is also a way I can help protect others.

Vinson said infants younger than six months old are too young to receive the immunization, and the responsibility to help protect them from the illness falls on our shoulders.

“For those not eligible, which includes infants younger than six months, it will be up to the family of the child to take precautions from the flu,” Vinson said.

Well, I have two grandbabies under that age limit and this grandmother is more than willing to do what ever it takes to help keep her little ones safe.

In addition to aiding our youngest, getting a flu shot can also help protect those that are at an even greater risk of the flu virus morphing into pneumonia and or death, which according to website include pregnant women, seniors and people with health conditions.

The more people that are immunized in a community, the greater chance everyone has of being protected. calls this “community immunity.”

“When a critical portion of a community is immunized against a contagious disease, most members of the community are protected against that disease because there is little opportunity for an outbreak,” it stated.

I am glad I got immunized this year, and after learning that I am not only protecting myself but also others, I plan to get a flu shot every year.

Terri Frazier is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Posst. You can reach her at

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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