Last year was an especially deadly year for the flu around the county. Over 80,000 people died of the flu last year, the highest death toll in more than 40 years. That’s according to a newly released report. Part of this reason is that Millennials are not getting the vaccine at the same rate as other generations.
“To be honest, I just haven’t gotten around to it. My mom hasn’t been on my back too much this year,” said one man we spoke with in downtown Raleigh.
One health care provider we talked with says the herd immunity idea, or everyone being vaccinated to protect everyone else, works also with the flu.
“Everyone getting the flu shot decreases the likelihood of other people getting sick from the flu,” said Orlinda Martinez, a physician assistant with AFC Urgent Care.
A common myth about the flu shot is that it can make you sick. While cold or flu symptoms can appear in some people after the shot, that is proof that your immune system is working properly.
“You might feel a little bit of runny nose, feel a little groggy, and that’s your body actually working,” explained Martinez. “That’s the way you build immunity, build the white blood cells up.”
You can still get the flu after receiving the shot, but the goal is to prevent the worst symptoms from developing.
“The flu shot doesn’t say it’s going to prevent you from getting the flu. It will decrease the likelihood of you getting it,” stated Martinez. “It will make the consequences and the severity of the symptoms less, and also it decreases the likelihood of passing away from flu .That’s the reason we want people to do it.”
It is not too late to get the flu shot, the worst of the flu season is still ahead of us.