EDITORIAL/It's That Time Again: Flu shots not only prevent illness, they can save lives

It's flu season again and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reminds everyone that flu shots are a good idea to help ward off ill health.

The CDC says everyone over the age of 6 months should have the shot. But the message often falls on deaf ears.

Each year flu infects millions of Americans. Sometimes the cases are mild, just an annoyance really. More common are cases where an individual feels lousy for a few days and then recovers.

But there are people who end up in the hospital with the flu. And even some who end up in the morgue.

Serious cases of the flu can be avoided by taking the annual vaccination. But most Americans don't or won't.

Why?

According to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, common excuses are not having the time to get the shot, not thinking about the shot at all. And there are folks who just don't like needles, period.

One of the most common reasons Americans avoid flu shots is the belief that the shots themselves will cause a mild case of the flu.

Health officials say that is not true.

And others worry that flu shots given to children could cause autism, even though there is no evidence whatsoever to support this belief.

The fact is that flu shots can save lives. At the very least they can help you and your family get through the flu season with minimal discomfort.

In our view, getting a flu shot is the smart thing to do. We encourage our readers to do so.

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