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.