Canada Editorial: Get a flu shot, for yourself and for the rest of us

01:21  11 january  2018
01:21  11 january  2018 Source:   thestar.com

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Getting a flu shot . (TNS). By Star Editorial Board. The bottom line is: get the jab. You’ll be doing yourself – and the rest of us – a favour.

Editorial | Get a flu shot , for yourself and for the rest of us . Both Canada and Australia used the same vaccine components, which are meant to offer protection against two A-type influenza viruses — H3N2 and H1N1 — and a B strain.


Getting a flu shot.© Provided by Toronto Star Getting a flu shot. Get your flu shot. It’s good for you and it’s good for the people around you.

That’s the consistent message from public health authorities, but it often falls on deaf ears. In fact, every year more than two-thirds of us don’t bother to get the flu vaccine, putting ourselves and others at risk of getting a potentially serious disease.

It’s been a fairly routine flu season so far in the Toronto area. But the experts say the number of cases is rising and the peak may be a few weeks away.

That means there’s still time to get a shot. They’re easily available through doctors’ offices, public health clinics and many pharmacies.

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The Register's Editorial : The crud is going around, but there's still time: Get a flu shot . If you think you don't need a vaccine to protect yourself , do it for the rest of us . Viruses spread in schools, restaurants , malls and anywhere people are in close proximity.

By Kelly Rawlings, Editorial Director October 2012 CC---Sick Days, Tips and How-tos, CC---Respiratory The vaccine isn't perfect—some people who get the shot still get the flu . " We know the flu shot can't cause the flu ," Grohskopf says.

Even an average flu season is deadly. According to Health Canada, in a typical year more than 12,000 Canadians end up in hospital with influenza and some 3,500 die. The disease is particularly dangerous for the elderly, very young children, and others whose immune systems are weak.

The best protection is getting a flu shot every season, but vaccination rates are stuck far below the 80-per-cent level that health experts say is the goal.

That’s not because of the tiny minority of militant “anti-vaxxers” who oppose all vaccinations on principle. It’s mainly because most people don’t think getting a flu shot is necessary or simply can’t be bothered.

That’s dangerous. Anyone who doesn’t get a shot has a higher risk of getting the flu. Just as important, they’re more likely to pass it on to other people, including the most vulnerable.

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“In your nose itself, you can burst a blood vessel and get a bleeding nose.” Even without being impeded, sneezing has been known to cause injuries, said Dr. Eric Monteiro, an ENT at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. Editorial | Get a flu shot , for yourself and for the rest of us .

Because the specific strain of flu we will see is a moving target, the The CDC says the time to get vaccinated is as soon as the vaccine is available; everyone older than 6 months should get a flu shot by the end of October. However, later vaccination will still protect you through the rest of the season.

This year the experts are worried that the worst part of the flu season is still ahead of us. They’ve seen a bad season in the southern hemisphere (particularly Australia), which is often a predictor of what’s in store for us.

The flu virus also mutates every season, and this year there’s concern that the vaccine may not be very effective against two common strains of flu, known as H3N2 and the influenza B virus.

Nonetheless, the vaccine offers the best available defence. Even if you get a shot and then come down with the flu, the symptoms are likely to be less severe. And there’s evidence that getting a shot every year provides some cumulative protection.

The bottom line is: get the jab. You’ll be doing yourself – and the rest of us – a favour.

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