Letter to the editor: Face facts about flu vaccines, COVID-19 boosters – Canton Repository

I have been giving the annual flu vaccines as well as the COVID-19 boosters during the last three years. I know most of us are tired of hearing that we need to roll up our sleeves and get another jab of a COVID-19 booster. However, it’s time to face some hard facts about our vaccines.
We must remember that many of us get the flu shot every year. We don’t assume we are protected from a flu shot that we got a year ago. We get the flu shot even in seasons when the flu shot is much less effective than the COVID-19 vaccine. Yet we don’t call it a booster — it’s just the annual flu vaccine.
During the flu season, we don’t track the rate of so-called breakthrough flu infections. Unlike COVID-19, we do not routinely test people for the flu unless they are demonstrably sick. So, we have no way of knowing how many people, vaccinated or not, are infected and asymptomatic or mildly ill during the flu season.
During each flu season, we must remember that the flu vaccine is not a suit of armor. The flu vaccine does not guarantee 100% protection against the flu. We must remember to properly wash our hands often, cover our mouths when we sneeze, avoid crowds when in public, and to dress appropriately during outdoor activities.
John Smithkey III, BSN, RN, LSN, Massillon