Flu season is upon us, and now more than ever it’s important to get your flu shot. Flu predictions are forecasting another rough season, and only 31% of Walworth County received their flu shots last year, according to the state Department of Health.

As a master of public health student at the UW-Madison, I know that your flu shot helps protect grandmothers, grandfathers, children at the daycare and more. This was the exact kind of population that I had the pleasure of caring for as a former nursing assistant at Golden Years of Walworth when I lived in Fontana.

There are a lot of misconceptions about the flu shot, but it is safe for almost every person above 6 months old. Your shoulder might hurt a bit after, and you might feel a little achy, but you can’t catch the flu from the shot.

Getting the flu shot also reduces flu symptoms, prevents hospitalizations and helps you recover faster if you do catch the flu later on.

All of the data available to us shows one thing: Getting your flu shot is important, and any excuse not to get it is just that--an excuse. As a health care worker, public health advocate and future health care provider I urge Walworth County residents to go out, find your nearest Walgreens or clinic and get your flu shot. It’s a small shot that will make a big difference in your community.

MITCHELL STEDMAN

UW-Madison graduate student

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