Editorials: Getting vaccinated for the flu helps othersEven healthy adults with no cause to fear a bout with influenza should get vaccinated against the nasty upper-respiratory bug known as the flu.
By: The Jamestown Sun Editorial Board, The Jamestown Sun
Even healthy adults with no cause to fear a bout with influenza should get vaccinated against the nasty upper-respiratory bug known as the flu.
The vaccine doesn’t just protect the person who gets it.
It also protects everyone around that person who is at more risk for complications from influenza — the pregnant woman across the aisle in the supermarket, the elderly relative living in the nursing home and the cancer victim whose immune system is compromised by needed chemotherapy.
For these people, and for many others who are at risk, the flu isn’t just a mere unpleasant few days or weeks spent on the couch trying to stay hydrated through the coughing, congestion, fever and aches. For them, the flu can be life-threatening.
Flu season has already contributed to one death in North Dakota this year. By getting vaccinated, healthy adults decrease the likelihood of passing the illness on to someone who may not survive it.
There are many others, too.
Getting vaccinated will protect the newborn baby too young to receive the shot and those who are too allergic to its components to be safely given the vaccine.
And if enough people are vaccinated, it will even protect the 10 percent of healthy adults whose vaccinations failed to be fully effective, because they will be unlikely to encounter a sick person.
Flu complications include pneumonia, inflammation of the heart and death.
Three people have died in Minnesota, including most recently a 17-year-old Texas boy. One person has died in North Dakota. And the flu season can last through May.
Flu vaccines in the form of shots and nasal spray are available at several locations including clinics and Central Valley Health District. Most health insurance carriers will pay for the whole cost of a flu vaccine. People without insurance can get assistance with costs through CVHD. Without insurance, the shot is about $25 to $40.
Between 3,000 and 49,000 people in the United States die of influenza and its complications every year.
Get vaccinated. Help save lives.
(Editorials are the opinion of Jamestown Sun management and the newspaper’s editorial board)