Flu shots provide potentially lifesaving protection

Everyone who can should get vaccinated

With the whole world seemingly focused on the COVID-19 vaccine and the level of protection it provides, we must not forget the importance of an older vaccine: the flu shot.

Just about everyone has called in sick at some point, saying they had the flu when they were sniffling, sneezing, maybe running a fever and generally feeling lousy.

Those symptoms definitely add up to an illness, but the problem is not really the flu. Influenza, as it is properly known, is much, much worse.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, influenza is caused by viruses that infect the respiratory tract. Influenza and pneumonia are among the top 10 causes of death in the state.

Fortunately, there is a way to prevent influenza. A yearly vaccine can protect a person from the deadly disease.

Yes, getting a shot hurts. And yes, an influenza vaccine can leave a person with a sore arm for a day or two. But that seems like a small price to pay for protection against a disease that can make a person very ill and even kill them.

Getting an influenza vaccine is even more important now because of the COVID-19 pandemic. With yet another respiratory disease on the loose, it just makes sense to be protected.

But despite the proven protective powers of a flu shot, not everyone gets one.

Public health officials would like to see 90 percent of those who are able to receive a flu shot actually get one.

Flu shots will soon be readily available at doctors’ offices, pharmacies and the Webster County Health Department.

We encourage everyone to get a flu shot to protect not only themselves but their families, friends and co-workers from this preventable disease.


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