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Be a hero: get your flu shot!

Be a hero: get your flu shot! | UPMC Health Plan

What if I told you that you could be a hero this year? You could save the lives of countless people.


Get your flu shot!

When you think of the flu, you might be thinking “Oh yeah. The flu. No big deal. I just stay home a few days and I’m over it.” And you might be right.

But the flu can be much more serious than that.

The influenza virus might not be a big deal to you, as you see it. Please consider this: If you get it, you will likely pass it on to someone else. And the people who get it from you will pass it on to others, and so on and so on. Eventually it’s going to affect someone who cannot handle the flu as well as you.

Whose lives could you possibly be saving?

  • Old people
  • Sick people
  • Injured people
  • Infants and toddlers
  • People with respiratory trouble (like asthma, chronic bronchitis or emphysema)
  • People who have a compromised immune system (like people with AIDS and transplant recipients)
  • Healthy people (That’s right! Sometimes the flu kills perfectly healthy people. It’s that serious!)

The flu kills somewhere between 3,000 and 50,000 Americans every year. Why the wide estimate?

  • The influenza virus isn’t always cited as the cause of death. Instead it may be listed as pneumonia, respiratory failure, or even “natural causes. ”
  • The virus mutates every year. There is currently no way to predict exactly how nasty or persistent the virus is going to be in any given year.

Keep in mind that for every person with a lethal case of the flu, there are dozens more who end up hospitalized. Just ask someone who has worked in an emergency department or intensive care unit. They see it every year.

The best way to reduce the impact of the flu, year after year, is for as many people to get immunized as possible. Every year, the flu vaccine reduces the incidence of flu cases. You could be a part of that effort. The cost of the shot is covered by your insurance company, and it is widely available. It doesn’t take long at all.

You would be doing a solid favor to your community, including:

  • Your family.
  • Your loved ones.
  • Your friends.
  • Your co-workers.
  • Your neighbors.
  • Every stranger you come into contact with: commuters, grocery clerks, waiters, etc.
  • All of the people in THEIR

Here’s the bad news: You won’t get a medal, a ribbon, or a trophy. You’ll never know exactly how many people were helped by your actions. You won’t even be able to point to any given person and know that you prevented them from getting infected. It just doesn’t work that way.

But deep down, you’ll know you did the right thing.