MONDAY DECEMBER 5, 2011
’Tis the season for shopping, socializing, a sprinkle of snow – and flu shots.
That’s right. As much as it may hurt – just a pinch, really – I urge all of you to get a flu shot this December. Don’t delay.
If you’re a healthcare worker, it’s extra important to provide protection to yourselves and your patients by getting the shot. Most facilities make it easy by providing flu shots at convenient times. I know of some hospitals that have a designated flu vax team to bring the vaccine straight to you, providing a flu shot on the spot.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccination rates for healthcare workers climbed to 63.5 percent for the 2010-2011 flu season. That’s a modest increase from the rate of 61.9 percent reported in 2009-2010. Hospital workers had the highest vaccination rate among healthcare providers, reaching 71.1 percent. That’s an improvement – but still not good enough. The CDC’s goal is a 90 percent vaccination rate for healthcare workers.
And even if you don’t work in healthcare, take care of yourself and your loved ones by getting the flu vaccine. I do a lot of driving around our great state and I don’t think I’ve recently passed a CVS or a Rite Aid without seeing flu shots offered for a nominal fee. A lot of insurance plans will even pay for the shot.
In this season of caring, take care of yourself and those around you by getting a flu shot. It will only hurt for a second, and it will help protect you for months to come.