• 88°

Being responsible means getting a flu shot

School is back in session and it’s time for germs to start flying.

Fall allergies are causing sinus infections, the national news recently published lice is rampant and the flu and stomach bugs are not far behind the changing temperatures.

Marisa Pasquale, a University of Mississippi student who is vice president of communications for the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists, is involved in Operation Immunization to help bring flu shots to students, faculty and staff at the university and to anyone who wants to stop by.

She said each year the flu forces 226,000 people into the hospital and it causes about 36,000 deaths. If it causes that many critical cases, the number of people forced home from work or school for a week to recover must be staggering.

The flu is not something to play around with. It infiltrates your body, and while doctors say you must stay home for at least a week, it often takes months to recover fully from the flu. When it infiltrates the lungs, it can linger for months, leaving you sidelined from regular activities.

The people who are at high risk for the flu like the elderly, young children and those with asthma or other diseases must consider getting a flu shot.

We are all about to hear stories from a friend, co-worker or neighbor who insists being stricken with the flu or getting sick after getting a flu shot. That is irresponsible to say — there is no active flu virus in the shot. There is zero chance of getting sick from the shot.

Yes, you can still get the flu even though you get a shot. The shot only protects against roughly three or four of the most likely strains scientists target could run rampant, Pasquale said.

Last year scientists did not quite predict the future well enough and more people than usual came down with the flu.

Please be responsible for your life and for the safety of the others around you at home, work and even in the grocery store and get your flu shot when they come out in the coming weeks and months if you are able to. Lives literally depend on it.

(“Our View” is an unsigned editorial representing the general opinion of The Oxford EAGLE editorial board, which includes Publisher Tim Phillips, Editor Stephanie Rebman, Managing Editor Rob Sigler, City Editor Alyssa Schnugg and photographer Bruce Newman.)