Flu Shot Extra Important This Year


School Nurses Alison Burke-Maloney and Susan Cyganiewicz

Roughly 58 percent of teens get a flu shot each year, according to the University of California, but this year health experts would like to see that number even higher due to coronavirus.

“”Getting a flu shot is more important now than ever to protect yourself,” School Nurse Ms. Susan Cyganiewicz said. “Following the safety guidelines like washing your hands wearing a mask and staying 6 feet apart from others are very important too,” she said.

As the flu season approaches in the United States, health experts are warning that the addition of another respiratory illness on top of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could overburden the health care system, strain testing capacity, and increase the risk of catching both diseases at once.

In a bad flu season, which peaks from December to February, 40 million to 50 million Americans may catch the flu, with some 800,000 requiring hospitalization, according to Charles Chiu, MD, PhD, an infectious disease expert at UC San Francisco.

Many people believe that flu shots aren’t helpful. 

Nurse Cyganiewicz says students should get a shot even though they might not be 100 percent effective.

“Having the vaccine makes a person much less likely to have serious complications from the flu,” she said.

Freshman Alison Ludeman said she understands this. 

“I get the flu shot because it gives me a lesser chance of  getting the flu,” she said. “I think they help me because I have been getting flu shots all my life and I haven’t gotten the flu.”

Freshman Zoe Knick also got a flu shot, but reluctantly.

“I see no point of getting it,” she said.

However, her grandparents were adamant that she get it this year.

A lot of people who haven’t gotten a shot before might be getting one this year because of coronavirus.

Nurse Cyganiewicz hopes this is the case.

“We are a blessed people to have access to life saving vaccines,” she said.