Getting a flu shot helps protect us all from this virus

Fall has arrived and it’s time to seriously consider getting a flu shot to help ward off that seasonal infection. It’s important to have the flu shot now before the virus hits in full force because it takes about two months for your body to develop the maximum defense against the illness.

Once again, Plumas County’s Public Health Department offers several free flu vaccination clinics to ensure every county resident who wants to get a flu shot has the opportunity. The first up is Monday, Oct. 15, in Greenville at the Indian Valley Medical Clinic.

Portola is Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 500 First Ave.

Chester is Thursday, Oct. 18, at the Chester Memorial Hall.

Quincy is Friday, Oct. 19, at the

Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds.

Graeagle is Wednesday, Oct. 24. Sponsored by Eastern Plumas Health Care, enter from Wasco Trail.

All clinics are from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Assuming this year’s vaccine is a good match against the viruses circulating this flu season, getting a flu shot means fewer people will come down with the disease because fewer people will be spreading it.

The dangers of the flu can be startling, especially for the elderly or those with chronic health issues. In fact, more than three-quarters of adults hospitalized with the flu have a chronic health condition such as diabetes or COPD.

Surprisingly, researchers report influenza infections can trigger cardiovascular events, and about twice as many people die from cardiac causes as opposed to influenza-induced pneumonia during flu season. Adults 65 or older are twice as likely to be hospitalized due to the flu, and 90 percent of flu-related deaths occur in those 65 and older. Flu-related medical costs rose to more than $3.2 billion in 2015 and lost earnings and productivity for adults reached $8 billion.

Of course, there are those in the community who do not want to be vaccinated for religious reasons or due to other health concerns regarding the chemicals and preservatives used in the vaccines and the potential for worrisome health outcomes, especially for children. Others argue the flu shot weakens your immune system and the vaccine is not dependable because the producers just guess at what strains will be circulating.

Getting a flu shot, like every other medical procedure, has its risks, and everyone of us should weigh the potential benefit against the potential risks when we decide to get a flu shot or not. The only right answer is the one that is right for you and your family, in consultation with your family physician.

Should you decide getting a flu shot is the way to go, you won’t want to miss one of the free flu clinics offered by the Plumas County Public Health Department.

It’s so easy to get a flu shot, and it only takes a few minutes of your time.

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