Letter: Get your flu shot!
Many people tend to underestimate the true intensity of the flu. While some think it is seemingly harmless, the flu is quite deadly. According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 200,000 people in the United States, on average, are hospitalized each year for illnesses associated with seasonal influenza virus infections. The flu can also be deadly. From 1976 to 2006, estimates of annual flu-associated deaths in the U.S. ranged from 3,000 to nearly 49,000 people. Not only is it beneficial for your own health to get the flu shot, but it is beneficial for society as a whole.
Getting your annual flu shot helps to create “herd immunity,” the concept that if everyone gets a flu shot, there would be no medium by which the flu could spread. This would be extremely beneficial for those populations who are especially weak to the flu, such as the elderly, infants and people who have health issues preventing them from being able to get a flu shot themselves. It is especially important for college students to consider the flu vaccine, seeing that it would spread so easily among the mass population. There are many options for where and how to get vaccinated – even if you don’t like needles there are alternatives. It is your responsibility to keep yourself healthy and prevent the spread of illness to those around you, and the best way to do that is to get yourself vaccinated.
Alex Frezza can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.