Fighting the flu

Getting your influenza vaccination is highly important during this season


Photo by Paige Fortney

According to the Mayo Clinic “This year’s flu shot will offer protection against three or four of the influenza viruses expected to be in circulation this flu season.” The available options of delivery this year for the vaccination are through injection or a nasal spray. Although the flu shot does not provide 100% protection, it is still worth getting.

Paige Fortney, Staff Reporter

As fall and cold weather quickly approach us, that can only mean one thing: flu season. 

With kids back in school and many public places and events open now, the chances of catching the flu and getting sick are increasing every day. There is one primary way to avoid getting this illness, and that is simply from getting your flu shot.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu vaccination is recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for all people six months of age and older who do not have contraindications to vaccinations. This is a fairly simple task to get done, and it goes a long way throughout the winter time. My family and I get our flu shots annually, and out of all four of us, I believe only two have ever had some sort of influenza.

Of course, the effectiveness of the vaccination greatly differs depending on the different factors of a person, age and health being two major ones. All immunizations are made to prevent and fight the disease, it’s just not a guarantee it’ll work the same for every person. However, the CDC stated that, “the flu vaccine prevented an estimated 4.4 million influenza illnesses during the 2018-19 season.” 

According to, “The federal government has the goal of vaccinating 70% of the population against the flu. The latest data shows that less than half of Americans get vaccinations.” Here in Nebraska, the vaccination rate in 2018-19 was 54.2%. 

Many argue that when getting vaccinated they still end up getting sick and not feeling well.  Some people can simply just become sick with other respiratory illnesses related to the common cold, giving off flu-like symptoms. People can also be exposed to a different type of flu virus other than what they were vaccinated with. The vaccination itself is very much effective for the certain virus that it pertains to. The immunization does not cause the illness, it’s just other illnesses that people become exposed to. 

This year with COVID-19, researchers have said that it is too early to know if the pandemic will affect the rate of flu vaccinations. Although the flu and COVID-19 share some of the same symptoms, they are not the same illness and the flu shot will not protect a person from getting COVID-19. 

Although the influenza vaccination is debatable among people everywhere, in the long run it’s better to get the shot and be safe. Places such as CVS, Hy-Vee and other local pharmacies deliver this immunization, and with most insurances some even offer it at no cost. Don’t be the person to get the flu this winter season, fight it and get your vaccination.