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TLDR PSA (look how serious I am); Get the flu shot.

While getting the shot may not entirely prevent you from catching flu, it’ll still dramatically decrease your chances of accidentally infecting or killing others (like grandma), or ironically dying from flu yourself.

Before COVID-19, patients with flu symptoms would overwhelm ERs every year, all infecting one another (and us) in tight indoor spaces. While NYC’s current behavior of ubiquitous face coverings could ironically obviate a bad flu season this time 🤞 (calling it!), why take the chance in a year like 2020? We may still expect no different — or worse — as we now know you can be co-infected with BOTH COVID-19 and FLU at the same time (they both have similar symptoms!). “FLUVID” is real; fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

 

 

Here’s the bottom line: While the flu shot isn’t as good at preventing flu, it is remarkably effective at decreasing the SEVERITY of symptoms and preventing DEATH if or when you get the flu. This means while you can still get sick with the flu despite having gotten a shot, you’ll LESS likely feel so gross that you’d leave home, overwhelm ERs, exchange a greater viral load of COVID-19/flu/countless other hospital diseases, and then infecting your loved ones back home.

Worried about if a shot could ruin your life? Allergic to eggs? Egg-free or preservative-free formulations exist and/or you can arrange to be monitored (and then treated) for potential reactions that are still mild at their worst. For what it’s worth, you also have greater chances of winning lotteries, being hit by a car, or dying from the flu than dying from the flu shot itself. So if you’re worried, at least talk to your PERSONAL doctor (doctors on social media DO NOT COUNT, nice try 😉) about your risk tolerance because there are ALWAYS other options if you simply ask for them.

As for myself, since 2006 I’ve timed getting a flu shot every late September to early October in anticipation for when flu season begins to peak around mid-October in NYC either from local pharmacies or at work (and sometimes 2x in a year just because I was too lazy to find the proof of paperwork 😐), and in that time I’ve traveled 190+ countries, graduated college, med school and Emergency Medicine residency, and now can do 30+ one-arm pushups on each side. Perhaps those flu shots did or didn’t do all that for me but regardless …must be something good going for me here? Just sayin’…

 

What 20+ flu shots look like