It’s that time of year when people come up with all sorts of excuses for not getting a flu shot.
Often, though, the excuses catch up with them. So, for the benefit of the naysayers, let’s do a reality check and clear up some mistaken notions.
“Why worry? It’s just the flu.”
Every year, almost 300,000 Americans land in the hospital as a result of the flu and its complications, and more than 20,000 die from flu-related illnesses. Older adults should be especially wary. They will account for 60 percent of the hospital stays and 90 percent of the deaths.
During the last flu season, more than 500 New Mexico residents were hospitalized because of flu-related illnesses and 31 died.
“I got a shot last year. I don’t need another.”
Even if you were vaccinated last year, you still need another shot this year, since your immunity to flu viruses wanes after a year. Also, the types of viruses usually change from season to season, so a new vaccine is made each year to fight that season’s most likely strains.
“Last year’s vaccine was ineffective, so why should I think this year’s will work?”