The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Letter to the Editor


September 16, 2020

Importance of Vaccination for

Influenza 2020

By Dr. Ann Rudinger

(Editor’s note- Dr. Rudinger is the wife of Ed Blazek, Class of BSHS ’72)

With all the attention given to COVID-19, it is easy to overlook a basic health care step- the annual FLU SHOT.

I have heard many people express reluctance to get a shot, saying,

“It will give me the flu”, or “I got the flu after the last one”, or “Someone I know got very ill after getting it”.

I thought I would share a few basic flu shot facts.

-Every year, 20-50 MILLION people get the flu in this country.

-Every year, 30-50,000 people DIE from the flu.

(It is hard to get EXACT numbers, because much that looks like flu isn’t flu, and flu can cause OTHER problems- like heart failure.)

-About 80% of the deaths are in unvaccinated patients

-Death from the vaccine is about one in a MILLION doses given.

The virus changes from year to year—as does the vaccine. The vaccine is good- but not perfect- it has about 75% effectiveness. However, if you do get the flu after vaccination, it is likely to be a milder case. One thing flu is NOT is a “common cold”-it is a miserable, sometimes debilitating, illness that causes fever, body aches, headache, sore throat and general malaise, and it lasts a week or two. The vaccine is a KILLED vaccine-meaning you CANNOT get the flu from the vaccine. It does take two weeks to work, so if you get sick before that time is up, you were already ill or exposed. You CAN get a sore arm or “flu-like” aches for a day or so after the vaccine.

We think the flu season may start earlier than usual ( it did last year), and with COVID -19 making the rounds, this would be an EXCELLENT year to get vaccinated- ideally by the end of October.


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2020