It’s October, which means flu season is upon us! Everyone who’s 6 months and older should get a flu shot — including you. We know that needles can be scary, but they’re a whole lot less scary than a bad case of the flu.
Just last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that fewer than half of all Americans got a flu shot last season. That’s not enough! Except in rare cases, everyone should get vaccinated. If 70 percent of the population does, that’ll help protect us all from getting really sick. Last season, only children under age 2 hit that target. Come on, parents — if your toddler can handle it, you can too.
CDC also said that some racial or ethnic groups got vaccinated more than others. This might happen because some people aren’t used to getting a shot each year.
It’s too soon to say what this year’s flu season will be like in the U.S. But if cases that occurred in Australia this year are any indication — and they often are, as flu hits the southern hemisphere sooner — we could have a lot of people sick with flu this year.
Luckily, there are many ways we can work to increase the number of people getting vaccinated. We can make shots available at more workplaces and schools and make shots cheaper. We should also reach out to groups of people who are less likely to get vaccinated.
And you can personally promote flu shots. Here are five things you can do to help spread the word about the importance of flu vaccinations:
1. Get vaccinated! Reduce the chance that you’ll get sick and spread the disease.
2. Make sure your family members get flu shots. Your mom would love to hear from you — call her up and tell her to get vaccinated.
3. Tell your friends you got vaccinated, and encourage them to get a shot too.
4. Post about your flu shot on social media. Use the #GetYourFluShot and #FightFlu hashtags and share our flu fighter graphic.
5. Know the facts about flu shots. Dispel myths that the flu shot can give you the flu.
Get more facts about the flu with Get Ready’s flu fact sheet.