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Letters to the Editor

Getting a flu shot should be a top priority

October is a great time to begin preparing for this year’s flu season. It’s a time when consumers are inundated with myths regarding the seasonal influenza vaccination. 

Every year, inaccurate facts are distributed to consumers that deter many from getting a seasonal influenza vaccine (flu shot). As part of American Pharmacists Month, Pharmacy Choice and Access Now, a coalition of consumers, local businesses and pharmacists, is making a push to educate people on the importance of receiving the flu vaccination and also dispel common misleading information. 

Everyone who is at least 6 months of age is eligible for a flu vaccine. People who have certain medical conditions, people younger than 5 years of age (especially those younger than 2), people 65 years and older, pregnant women, and those who live with or care for others who are at high risk of developing serious complications if they contract the flu, should make getting the flu vaccine a higher priority. 

Last year, with flu peaking early, many people weren’t prepared and, as a result, lost vacations and missed out on holidays. It can take up to 14 days after being vaccinated for your body to build up full immunity. That underscores the importance of getting a flu shot early. The flu virus is constantly evolving, and it’s critical that people are vaccinated every year.

PCAN encourages Illinois residents, ages 10 and older, to visit your local participating pharmacy and speak with your pharmacist about getting your flu shot today.

Note to readers: David Vite is president of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, and Mickie Brunner is president of the Illinois Pharmacists Association. They are co-chairs of PCAN.

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