Wednesday, December 10, 2008


To the woman who shook my son's hand at church on Sunday, thank you for getting a flu shot. My son has asthma, and even a mild case of the flu can make him sick for weeks. He will have a much better school year because he did not catch the flu from you and have to miss a month of school. People with lung illnesses are at a high risk for complications from the flu.

To the man who visited his grandmother for Thanksgiving at the assisted-living home where my grand father lives, thank you for getting your flu shot. My Grandfather is in his nineties, and will get to enjoy Christmas with his first great-great grandson because he didn't catch the flu from your grandmother and die before Christmas. The elderly, living in senior housing, can be especially vulnerable to the flu.

To the coworkers of my friend, who is allergic to eggs and has diabetes and cannot get a flu shot, thank you for getting your flu shots. My friend's juvenile diabetes has made her life very difficult. Anyone with a chronic illness has so many more things to worry about than those of us who enjoy good health. When those of us who are healthy get our flu shots, we are practicing "herd immunity" and protect many, many at-risk people.

Thank you to everyone who has gotten their flu shot. You have given your community a gift.

If you haven't yet had your shot, it's not too late.


phylliso said...

I`ve been getting the flu shot since my dh & I are both at risk with our immune systems out of wack.There is also a pnemonia shot given once every 5 years for the elderly.My dh got one of those as did my mom.phylliso

FIONA said...

Phylliso, good for you, and for those around you.

I am so happy that our sons' schools have visiting nurses come in to vaccinate all of the teachers and staff. My DH gets his at work, too.

I had to get mine at Target.

Stay well this winter, and remind your family and friends it's not too late to get a flu shot.

Aleta said...

Fiona, thanks for this perspective on flu shots. I have never had a flue shot. I have only ever once had the flu, but, as you said, it isn't just for me, it is for those around me who are vulnerable. Maybe this year I'll get one.

FIONA said...

I hope you will, Aleta. The benefit of any immunization is the "herd immunity" the idea that if enough people in a community are immunized, everyone is less likely to become ill.

Those who are most vulnerable to the flu benefit the most, but it is nice for everyone to be healthier.

Last year, an entire elementary school in our area was closed because of a high percentage of students and teachers who were ill.

Everyone who is immunized and doesn't get the flu can't give it so anyone else and the chain is broken.