By Sandra J. Gilliland, MD, FAAP, CPE
Director of Clinical Quality at Variety Care
If you haven’t received your flu vaccination this year, you’re not alone. And this could be a problem. Even though Variety Care is serving more people than ever before, the number of people vaccinated for influenza this fall has dropped by nearly 20% compared to previous years. As a pediatrician, I see kids every winter whose parents never realized how sick their child could get from flu. Let’s match some truths about the flu vaccine along common misperceptions that parents may have.
Perception: flu shots make us more likely to get sick. Truth: many viruses are more common in winter. Flu shots reduce the risk of severe influenza. It does not prevent infection with other viruses (and if you have kids, they will catch other viruses).
Perception: flu isn’t so bad if you’re young and healthy. Truth: the severity of influenza varies widely. Every year, children die from influenza. Most pediatric deaths occur in unvaccinated children, many of whom were previously healthy.
Perception: the flu shot isn’t effective. Truth: flu shots are highly effective in reducing the risk of death and hospitalization. While they don’t prevent all infections, the real reason to get the flu shot is to keep you and your family out of the hospital.
Not sure where to get your child’s flu vaccine? Get a shot and a qualified health care provider by visiting Variety Care. Did you know that we have a location in Yukon? We are now serving children and adults at Variety Care Yukon, located at 508 W Vandament Ave #210, Yukon, OK 73099.
Please protect yourself and your family with a flu shot today and have a wonderful holiday season.