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Here's Why You Shouldn't Skip Your Flu Shot This Year

We get it. You’re busy, and scheduling a vaccination appointment is a hassle, and the side effects can be annoying. But we really need our flu vaccines and, for those over 65, probably a pneumonia vaccine as well.

The biggest reason the medical community stresses the urgency of vaccinations for people over 65, the very young, and those whose immunity might be otherwise compromised is the greater risk of complications among these vulnerable populations. But for the vaccine to be effective, we need what the immunologists call herd immunity. Since no vaccine is 100 percent effective, we must reduce the number of potential contagious persons so that we decrease the likelihood of being exposed to the virus and dealing with its dangerous complications.

The Centers for Disease Control offers comprehensive guidelines on its website.

But knowledge is not enough. We need to commit ourselves to up-to-date vaccinations for everyone on our caring teams. The CDC recommends getting the flu shot by October 31, but if you haven't gotten yours yet, there's still time. You can easily find a vaccination location near you by using the HealthMap Vaccine Finder—a free tool maintained by Boston Children's Hospital.

I invite you to make the commitment and encourage your friends and family to do likewise by sharing this post and telling your friends “I’m in!”



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