Flu Shots Save Lives with Community Immunity | McFarland Clinic

The whole notion of vaccines is that if enough
of us are protected against an infection and don’t get the infection, then we can’t pass
that on to those around us, our loved ones, our family, our neighbors, our friends, our
coworkers. And if enough of us get vaccinated, we start to develop what’s called a herd immunity
where we can actually protect our community, particularly those people that are at highest
risk for severe influenza like children and elderly people or maybe people that have immune
systems that are weak for some reason. So getting a personal flu vaccine not only helps
you not get the flu, but it may help you not give the flu to somebody else. Not that anybody
would ever do that on purpose, but the challenge with influenza is that we often become contagious
24 hours before we even feel sick. So you may not even know you have it, but you could
be spreading influenza to someone else. So the vaccine helps prevent that. The vaccine
also makes you contagious for less time, so it might help just prevent spread of the infection
in general. And I think the more of us that are vaccinated, the less likely it is that
unvaccinated people in the community would get sick.

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