No Flu Shot Yet? What’s Stopping You?

A message from SMC Family Nurse Practitioner, Lindsay Rucinsky

All of us at Sweet Medical Center (SMC) know that immunizations are key to good health. An extensive amount of research and testing goes into developing all types of immunizations, so we are confident in recommending them to our patients and the general public. If you have not yet received your flu shot yet this fall, I encourage you to get one as soon as possible!

A couple reasons I’ve heard over the years for not getting the flu shot and my responses:

I already had the flu this year. I threw up for a day and now I’m fine. Influenza is very different from the stomach virus that makes its rounds a few times per year. Influenza (the flu) is an upper-respiratory, highly contagious disease caused by different strains of influenza viruses. It typically lasts for a week or more and makes you very sick with fever and body aches in addition to the cold-type respiratory symptoms.

I’m a healthy person. If I do get the flu, I can kick it. You might be able to kick it, but it will probably knock you down for at least a few days, plus the people around you might not be as healthy as you and might not be able to fight it as well if they catch it from you.

I don’t have time / can’t afford to get a flu shot. If you make an appointment at SMC you shouldn’t have to wait more than a couple minutes and you’ll be in and out in no time as it can be done as a quick nurse visit as long as you’ve seen a provider in the past year. Most insurance companies cover the full cost of the flu shot and if you do end up having to pay out of pocket, it’s typically under $30 – much less expensive than missing a few days of work and potential complications.

I’m too old / young to get a flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control recommends everyone over six months old receive the flu shot every year. In fact children under age 5 and adults 65 and older are at higher risk for developing serious complications from the flu. Others who are at increased risk include pregnant women, nursing home residents, those with existing medical conditions from asthma to diabetes to heart disease, etc.

The flu is no big deal, I get it every year. Influenza is a big deal. It results in many lost work days, hospitalizations and even deaths every year. The best defense is the flu shot.

There’s no doubt that the best defenses against influenza are getting the vaccine, hand hygiene and protected sneezes and coughs. If you have any questions or concerns about the flu shot, I recommend discussing them with your primary care provider.

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