Every year, the flu season comes around. For those of us who work in hospitals, it’s a bit like Christmas, if Christmas was filled with fevers, fluids, and the occasional death.
Flu season is upon us, and as the world quakes under the weight of one of the worst flu outbreaks in years, doctors internationally are trying to get out one important message:
Get your flu shot. In fact, get all of your shots
Vaccines are one of the most important tools we have in the fight against disease. Not only are they incredibly safe — with serious side-effects occurring about once for every 2 million patients — but they prevent truly nasty bugs like flu, as well as measles, whooping cough, diptheria, and polio.
The list goes on.
But there’s a problem. People are increasingly missing their shots, partly due to misinformation, and partly because it’s not always easy to get them.
Dr. Meenakshi Bewtra from the University of Pennsylvania has created this brilliant program. The idea is simple — go get your flu vaccine. If possible, go with a friend or family member. Get your vaccines. Take a picture with the spoils of your victory against influenza (bandaids/stickers). Post these on twitter — or grab a screenshot from other social media and tweet — and add the hashtag #ridetheshotwave.
For every vaccine YOU get — yes you, the person reading it, book your appointment in now — Dr. Bewtra will donate to UNICEF to help get vaccines to children in need.
Alternatively, you can get the shot and then give directly to the campaign here.
Vaccines Are Brilliant
Vaccines are one of the most life-saving medical interventions of the modern age. They prevent hundreds of millions of lives being lost each year, and countless more being lived in disability and endless pain.
This campaign will help address the two main causes of people missing out on their vaccinations: that they have been convinced not to because of perceived safety risks, and because they can’t afford to get them. Get your hesitant friend to come along with you so that they can see it’s not so bad. Vaccines are for everyone!
So go out and get your vaccines. Not just for yourself, but for everyone else who is at risk.
Post screenshots, make it fun, and save lives.
The children whose lives you save will one day grow up to thank you.