If you haven’t heard yet—the flu is going around. In fact, this flu season has been one of the worst on record—and it’s set to get worse. The flu has spread to almost every state in the country, and recently the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported a total of 63 pediatric flu-related deaths this season.
The other day I was speaking with my close friend, Lucy (name changed to protect her identity), about this year’s flu epidemic. Through our conversation, I discovered that not only had Lucy neglected to get the flu vaccine, but that she also had no intention of getting it. To make matters worse, she revealed that she has NEVER gotten the vaccine. As a public health professional (and someone that spends time with her), I was astonished. Unfortunately, my dear friend isn’t the only one: Despite ongoing messaging that the vaccine is important, studies show that less than half of U.S. adults get the flu vaccine each year.