25 Mar Myth: “I do not need the flu injection – I am healthy and never get the flu!”
Myth: “I do not need the flu injection – I am healthy and never get the flu!” That is like saying: “I do not need to wear a seatbelt. I drive safely and I have never had an accident.”
Clearly, it is safer to take every precaution to reduce the risk of illness and death. Whilst it is true that some people are more vulnerable than others, even healthy people can be infected and become seriously ill – and they can transmit the illness to others, even before they know that they are sick.
Those at greatest risk of complications and potentially fatal consequences are:
- Adults over 65 years of age
- People of any age with chronic health conditions
- Residents of long term care facilities
- Pregnant women
- Children under 5 years of age
In the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919, in which 50 million people died, there were no treatments for influenza, so people took extreme measures to avoid getting the flu – like this office worker wearing a “flu nozzle”.
One hundred years later, we know that the most effective way to prevent influenza is to have an annual influenza vaccination. If you do not get it for yourself – get it to protect those around you who are more vulnerable.
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