Is anybody else getting mixed messages?
The health authorities are starting to promote and administer seasonal influenza vaccines.
In any given year, everyone is encouraged to get vaccinated.
We are told that it is important, not just to either prevent us individually from getting it or reduce the severity of it, but to protect the community.
Herd (or community) immunity it is sometimes called. The more people who are vaccinated the more effective in preventing the spread.
We are told, this is particularly important this year amid the resurgence of the SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19.
Health authorities are rightfully worried about the health system becoming overwhelmed. They certainly do not need a bad flu season on top of the coronavirus pandemic.
We are told there is plenty of flu vaccine to go around for everybody who wants it.
Uptake of the offer is never anywhere near the percentages needed for truly effective community immunity, but there are signs demand is higher in 2020.
This could be really good news on top of everybody taking other measures (handwashing, physical distancing, masks etc.).
Flu kills an average of 3,500 people in Canada each year.
It’s no wonder they are encouraging us to get it.
The only problem is, if you don’t fall into specific high-risk groups, you’re going to have to pay for it.
There are already enough impediments to people getting vaccinated for flu ranging from pure laziness to misinformation spread around by the anti-vax crowd.
Encouraging people to get it, but then adding a financial burden to it for those who may already be inclined to pass seems really counterproductive.
So, we have to ask the powers that be:
Which is it, do you want us to get vaccinated or not?