The flu shot isn’t just to protect yourselves, it’s to protect those around you as well. By getting the flu shot, individuals can protect themselves from the influenza, but they also protect those around them that cannot get the shot, such as young children and the elderly.
Flu shots are a vaccination to prevent one from getting the flu anytime between November and March. Although the flu shot is not 100 per cent effective to eliminating your chances of getting the flu, it has its benefits. If you get the flu shot and still get the flu, the severity and duration of the flu sickness will be lessened if you have gotten that years’ shot.
“The very young can’t get the flu shot, so by getting the flu shot and preventing yourself and preventing this age population from getting the flu, we’re also protecting the very young who can’t get it,” said Beverly Jones, a nurse from Laurier Brantford’s Wellness Centre. “While the age group is not considered a high risk population, we definitely recommend it for everyone for the benefits to themselves, but also for the protection they’re providing to everyone else they come in contact with,” said Jones.
Besides the Wellness Centre on campus, there are other places students can go to get the flu shot. Most pharmacies will administer the shot, along with most walk-in clinics, and the Brant County Health Unit as well.
“The flu shot is a vaccination that protects against the most common strains of flu that have influenced us in the past year,” said Jones. “It changes every year based on that. That’s why you have to get a new one every year.”
“[On a scale from one to ten, the importance of getting the flu shot is a] ten. I think it’s very important; definitely more so for certain populations… I think there’s good reason for everybody to get it,” Jones said. “If you’re going to be exposed to the elderly or the very young, they’re definitely a higher risk population. Also, we recommend that for sure if you have diabetes you’re at higher risk for getting [the flu]. But even for the general population I’d say ten out of ten, everybody should get it, 100 per cent.” Jones is passionate about everyone getting the flu shot to protect those who cannot get it.
“I’ve just been getting the flu shot every single year, and one year when I was probably about 12, I decided not to get the flu shot, and of course I ended up with the flu and I missed quite a bit of school. So, after that I was like ‘I should just stick with getting it’,” said Laurier student Ranita Virk when asked why she gets the flu shot every year. She recently got her latest flu shot from the Wellness Centre on campus.