Go get your flu shot

AB Boyd | Cartoonist

If you’ve been looking for a sign that you need to go get your flu shot, this is it. Stop reading this article, get in your car and drive to a pharmacy. It can literally save lives.

If this year has taught us anything, it’s that we all affect each other’s health more than we used to realize. Supporting public health is something we should do as much as we can, and right now, other than wearing a mask, washing your hands, staying home when you can and social distancing when you can’t, getting a flu shot is one of the best things we can do to keep each other healthy and support our local healthcare workers.

Luckily, if you’re insured, the only thing it’ll cost you is your time. The flu shot is completely free for most insurances at most major pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens. For those uninsured, the out-of-pocket cost can be pretty high, but at the Baylor Health Clinic, the university will cover the cost of students, faculty and staff so long as you get your shot before you leave for Thanksgiving,

The reason this is so important, especially this year, is that our healthcare workers are not an unlimited resource. The fewer people who have to go to the doctor, the more healthcare workers can focus on treating patients with COVID-19 or other health issues (heart attacks, pneumonia, strokes, etc.) landing them in the ICU. America’s healthcare workers have had quite the year. Getting your flu shot is the least you can do to support them.

Those apprehensive about the science behind the flu vaccine can hear from Baylor’s own Dr. Sharon Stern, who last year sat down with The Baylor Lariat to quell concerns anyone may have. For instance, you won’t get a weaker bout of the flu from the vaccine, though there are sometimes mild side effects from your shot that go away quickly. Also, though it won’t guarantee immunity from the flu, if everyone who is medically able to get the vaccine in their community, everyone is much more protected from the illness.

Getting the flu shot is so important every year, but this year, it is even more so. Please, for the sake of your local nurses and doctors, and also your friends, family and neighbors, go get a flu shot.