The flu has already hit hard. Already this year there have been reported cases of influenza in all 50 states, with four states (Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, and Oregon) reporting flu activity state-wide rather than sporadically. November is also quickly coming to a close, and the months of December and January are when flu season typically peaks, so the worst is still to come. Keep in mind that the flu vaccination takes approximately 2 weeks before it starts to fully protect you, so getting your flu shot now means you’ll be protected right around when December starts!

There’s nothing worse than spending the holidays sick in bed.

Let’s face it, we’re about to start the most exciting few months of the whole year! Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s are all upon us, and it would be miserable to have to miss out on all the festivities because you’re bed-ridden and feeling miserable from the flu.

You probably don’t want to waste PTO on the flu when you could waste it on a beach vacation this summer.

If you’re one of the lucky individuals who works for a company where sick days and vacation days are separate, then that’s awesome! If, however, you’re one of the millions of people whose vacation and sick days are rolled into one, you’ll feel our pain. It sucks to have the flu, but it sucks even more to have to use up those vacation days you were hoping to save for a summer beach getaway because you’ve come down with the flu and can’t work. Most of us live incredibly busy lives, and we simply just can’t afford to be sick and miss out on work and all of our other responsibilities, PTO or no. If getting a flu shot will guarantee you that beach vacation, doesn’t that feel like a fair trade?

It’s not just about you, it’s about the people around you too.

Getting a flu shot is a very personal decision, and it’s up to each and every one of us to make that decision on our own. No one can force you to get a flu shot against your will, they’re not going to strap you into the chair while some nurse shoves a needle into your arm. If you want one, you go get one. If you don’t want one, you don’t have to get one. It’s important to remember, though, that even though you may not think you need to protect yourself from the flu, there may be other people in your life who need protection from it. Say you have a baby, for example. Children under the age of 6 months are too young to get a flu shot, but they’re highly susceptible to the flu and it’s incredibly dangerous for them if they do get it. One of the easiest ways to protect your child from the flu is to make sure that the people in their life are also protected from it. If you’ve gotten your shot and can’t catch the flu, your baby has a much greater chance of getting through flu season healthy! The same thing goes for people who have elderly individuals in their life, as people over the age of 65 are at a much higher risk when it comes to the flu.

At the end of the day, no one will force you to get a flu shot, and it’s up to you to decide whether or not you need one. But it’s important to think about the repercussions of not getting one, both for your personal life and for the lives of the people around you, so make sure that you consider this before turning down the shot!