When fall rolls around, there are almost as many signs advising you to get the flu vaccine as there are telling you to buy pumpkin-spiced products. These PSAs make it seem like getting a flu shot is easy and obvious, but every year, the majority of American adults choose NOT to make that long, difficult trek to the pharmacy on the corner. So should you? We won’t tell you what to do, but we’ll help you think through it.
It can limit the likelihood of an epidemic
The first thing to remember is that the flu shot recommendation is a public health measure, which means it’ll benefit more people than just you, you selfish jerk. The goal is to prevent people at risk for influenza complications from catching the flu from someone (like you) and getting really sick. We’re talking pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, and other nasty illnesses, and sadly the death rates for issues stemming from the flu are really high. No one wants a Contagion-style flu pandemic on their hands.
It keeps you from getting the flu, duh
The flu vaccine, while its effectiveness varies, can actually -- surprise! -- prevent the flu. This means, at the very least, that you don’t have to waste vacation days on your pillow castle after the sick days run dry, you don’t have to terrify transit passengers with your sneezes on the way to your doctor, and you don’t have to feel shitty for two weeks. If you’re in a group that’s at high risk for complications, getting a flu shot will hopefully help you avoid even more serious problems.