The Key Reason We Immunize for the Flu

by Keith Hart

It would be a rare visit to the office this time of the year if some mention of the need for your child to receive a flu shot was not made.

Though we are successful in immunizing the majority of our patients against influenza on a yearly basis, we also hear the same inevitable reasons every year on why families choose not to immunize.

One key but often not mentioned reason that all should consider is what one flu shot can do to prevent the spread of flu. Though we target to protect those children with underlying conditions that make them vulnerable from complications from influenza, most that we immunize are healthy individuals at low risk for complications from influenza itself. The biggest advantage to immunize the healthy child is preventing that child from getting the flu (most likely form a nursery, preschool or school exposure) and thus prevent that child from further spreading the flu to those within the home or school that may include a vulnerable child or adult. Statistics show that the majority of those that contract the flu in any given season do so from an in-home exposure.

So when considering the flu vaccine be sure to remember that the decision to get the vaccine means that you are contributing to the overall health of your family and community by stopping the spread of a very contagious and potentially dangerous virus.