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By - Ameerah Woodley

Why Is Getting A Flu Vaccination So Important?

During the time of year everyone starts getting a runny nose or sore through, you might feel pressure to go and get a flu vaccination. While you might be someone who doesn’t fall ill often and is normally very hygienic, it is still essential that you comply with the social contract and get the shot so that you don’t pose an avoidable risk to herd immunity. The following will explain why getting your flu vaccination is so important and that it is unethical not to get it.

 

Why is it necessary?

A flu vaccination is necessary because the influenza (flu) virus it is designed to combat can spread and be contracted very easily. You have probably experienced or seen someone experience mild influenza symptoms before in the form of fever, headaches and a sore through, however the most severe cases can cause pneumonia and death.

Some light research will reveal to you that influenza is still a big killer, particularly for elderly people who have weaker immune systems. Young people who don’t get their shot may only get a mild case of influenza but spread it to an elderly person who may have a much harder time dealing with it.

This is where the main ethical problem of not getting a flu vaccination comes in – even if you are prepared to accept personal risk in not getting the shot you are still endangering others. Immunisation only works when everyone participates because it promotes herd immunity and helps keep human DNA a step ahead of viruses that are constantly finding new ways to beat our immune systems.

 

What should you do?

person getting a vaccine on her shoulder

Make sure that you and your family get your shots as soon as possible after it is announced that they are available. This normally happens just before the start of winter in preparation for the colder conditions that give rise to influenza symptoms. It will take around 2 weeks after getting the shot for the immunisation barrier to full cover your body, meaning that you can still get sick in that period and should be vigilant in your anti-influenza habits like washing hands thoroughly.

 

Can you get influenza from a flu vaccination?

No, you cannot develop influenza from a flu vaccination because it is not injecting a live virus but a dormant form of it that is easily recognised and defeated by your immune system. Think of it like showing a wanted poster to your white blood cells and saying, “this is what influenza looks like, if you see him around, you know what to do”.

 

What are corporate flu vaccinations?

A corporate flu vaccination is simply a name given to programs designed to immunise organisations collectively in order to save time and money for everyone and get it out of the way. These kinds of programs also give mutual peace of mind between employees that they won’t get each other sick and gives managers relief knowing that they won’t have as many workers taking sick days.

Influenza can be quite damaging to a business when one or more critical workers gets a severe case and can’t work. It is important that the virus is taken seriously by managers and not dismissed as something employees can ignore and work in spite of.

Luckily, most employers these days will understand the utility of corporate flu vaccinations and happily invest in them.

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