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09th Oct 2019

Nurse’s powerful Facebook post hammers home the importance of the flu vaccine

Cathy Donohue

Were you aware of just how important the flu vaccine is?

For many, the flu is an inconvenience.

Those familiar aches and pains, the stuffed up nose, the general feeling of malaise. It’s not great but it passes and you return to normal – for others, it’s not quite so simple.

For those with compromised immune systems, a flu can have serious repercussions and by getting your vaccine, you’re helping to protect them.

This week, Amanda Catherine Bitz shared a heartfelt Facebook post sharing her experiences as a nurse and explaining exactly why it’s so important to get the vaccine.

Here is an excerpt from her post.

“For the grandparents, whose bodies are not what they used to be, and they just can’t kick an illness in the butt like when they were young.

For the 30 year old, with HIV or AIDS, who has a weakened immune system.

For the 25 year old mother of 3 who has cancer. She has absolutely zero immune system because of chemotherapy.

For the newborn baby who was just welcomed into the world, and isn’t quite strong enough to fight off infections on his own.

For the nurses and doctors that take care of you. If they get sick, they can’t go to work and take care of the countless patients that need them.

For the 50 year old husband who needs a medication for his chronic illness, and that medication also weakens his immune system.

For the pregnant mom that has been trying to get pregnant for years, and now she’s trying to stay healthy for her unborn baby.

For the single dad who can’t take any more sick days and needs to provide for his kids.

For the 7 year old boy that just wants to play with his friends. But he has a disease that puts him at a higher risk for infection, so he has to stay inside.

The flu shot is NOT always about you. It’s about protecting those around you, who cannot always protect themselves”.

Orla Tinsley, cystic fibrosis campaigner and writer, is also an advocate for the vaccine.

Two years after a double lung transplant, Orla is all too aware of the dangers that people with weak immune systems face and her words should not be taken lightly.

The seasonal Flu vaccine is available in pharmacies nationwide from October 2019 until the end of April 2020.

The vaccine protects against the four strains of flu virus recommended by the World Health Organization as the strains most likely to circulate this winter.

You can find out more on the HSE official website.