It’s that time of year again

Shots offer excellent protection from flu

Have you gotten your flu shot yet? Why not?

Many health care professionals are urging the public — especially those who, because of age or existing health conditions may be more vulnerable to the flu — to get immunized as soon as possible.

They have a very good reason for being worried. Last winter, about 80,000 Americans died of the flu and complications from it. That is the highest death toll in more than 40 years.

Our health care environment is so good that it has led some to complacency about doing what they can to protect their own health and that of loved ones. Many of us have let down our guard.

Influenza often is no more than an uncomfortable inconvenience. For those with lowered resistance to disease, it can be fatal.

In that category are those with certain ailments, including respiratory diseases. The elderly and the very young also face increased danger.

While you may not need protection, think about those with whom you come in contact. If you contract the flu, you may be in bed for a few days. The older person or child to whom you pass the disease may not be as lucky.

Most insurance plans cover flu shots. They are widely available, often without appointments.

Get yours as soon as possible. If for no other reason, do it for your loved ones.

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