September 14th, 2015 | Judy Chambers

To flu or not to flu

I don’t know about you but the last time I did NOT get a flu shot turned into the worst fall/winter I have ever had. Since I had not had the flu in over 15 years, I didn’t think I needed a shot since I’d been fine for that long without one. Boy was I wrong. It seemed like I was sick throughout the entire winter. So after that winter, I started getting regular flu shots and have not had the flu since. That’s not to say I haven’t gotten sick, but the flu (thank goodness) has stayed away, and that is just fine by me.

Here are a few reminders on why you should get a flu shot:

  1. You want to stay healthy. That old saying to “wash your hands and sing happy birthday twice” is still one of the healthiest ways to get rid of germs.
  2. It takes around 2 weeks to become fully immunized.
  3. If you don’t get immunized against the flu, you increase your chance of catching the flu.
  4. Older people have a higher risk of flu complications. About 90% of flu-related deaths and 60% of hospitializations are from seniors 65 years and older.

Remember to remind your caregivers to get their flu shots as well, so that they are both protected. If you are around small children, make sure to remind their parents that they should also receive a flu shot.

Contact your health care provider and find out when you will be able to receive your flu shot. I also learned that there is a dosage for people over 65 called “Fluzone.” It is a higher dose vaccine that contains 4 times the active ingredient. So remember to ask for it.

I was just at a Target pharmacy and the first thing they asked me was if I wanted a flu shot. The people at Bartell Drugs and Safeway Pharmacy will ask the same thing. If you need help finding where you can get a flu shot, contact your local American Lung Assocation at 206.441.5100 or you can go to