Guest Blog: Terri Miner, DO talks about the Flu vaccine.
According to the the CDC, the 1918 influenza pandemic was the most severe pandemic in recent history. It was caused by an H1N1 virus with genes of avian origin. Although there is no universal consensus regarding where the virus originated, it spread worldwide from 1918-1919. It is estimated that approximately 500 million people were infected with this virus. The number of deaths was estimated to be at least 50 million worldwide with about 675,000 occurring in the United States. It is a clear reminder of how serious Influenza is and how far we have come since the development of a vaccine. I highly recommend you read their article about this topic: History of 1918 Flu Pandemic
Flu season is around the corner and I felt this was such an important topic to discuss and get some expert insights! I am extremely appreciative that Dr. Terri Miner agreed to share her perspective on my blog.
PLEASE WELCOME TERRI MINER, DO
Dr. Miner is an amazing clinician and individual! She attended Medical School at the University of New England, had her residency in Albany, NY, where she served as Chief Resident. She lives with her husband Chris, who is a pediatrician, and 3 amazing children locally. I am thankful to have Dr. Miner's insights on this topic. With that, please read on to hear from Dr. Miner!
Why get the flu vaccine?
Every year as a primary care physician, I try to convince my patients to get the flu shot. Now more than ever in this time of COVID-19, it is vitally important to do everything we can not to overwhelm our healthcare system.
Every year, I often hear “I never get sick, so I don’t think I need a flu shot,” or “the last time I got the flu shot, I got the flu.” While people not getting sick from the flu is wonderful news, it is also about considering our most vulnerable, our children, and the elderly.
As of today, influenza is more likely to kill children than COVID-19. We have taken drastic steps in our communities to stop the spread of Covid-19, and are hopeful a vaccine will be available in the not too distant future. However, we know we can reduce the spread of influenza by vaccinating healthy people. Additionally, it has been shown that newborns are protected from the flu months after birth when healthy moms get their flu shots during pregnancy.
Furthermore, you cannot get the flu from the flu shot! The flu vaccine is an inactivated form of the virus. People can develop mild, transient side effects such as pain or swelling at the injection site, body aches, or low-grade fevers. These symptoms are far less severe than the flu itself. While you can still get sick in the winter with flu or flu-like illnesses, if you get the flu vaccine year after year, your risk substantially decreases.
Getting a seasonal flu shot in September or October is ideal as protection lasts about 6 months. Ultimately, our goal is to keep our communities healthy and safe, and in doing so protect those at greatest risk. Please get your flu shot, as doing so saves lives!
I hope you find these guest series helpful and I have many more to come! If you are a provider and would like to write a guest blog post, please direct message me through Instagram or leave a comment below. I'd love to hear from you.
Until my next blog, I hope everyone stays happy, healthy, and safe!