Why getting a flu shot is a wise move — especially now

If you have not rolled up your sleeve this season for a flu shot, one D.C.-area doctor has some things he wants you to know.

“The flu vaccine is not dangerous,” said Dr. Sunil Budhrani, CEO and chief medical officer of Innovation Health.

The flu, which affects millions of people a year, is a highly contagious disease that “has not gone away,” Budhrani said.

Getting a flu vaccine creates a “roadblock to mass infection,” he said. “Just as the coronavirus vaccine continues to be rolled out, [the flu vaccine] is a roadblock to mass infection.”

“It’s a dead version of the virus,” Budhrani said about the vaccine. “It’s inactivated. It’s noninfectious medicine that we take to build antibodies to protect ourselves from the flu virus.”

Budhrani said he is “so proud” of people who have already received a flu shot this season, while stating that there is still time for others to get the vaccine and “take the flu piece of the equation completely off the table.”

“So when we are taking care of you in the hospitals and health care settings, that we’re really dealing with only the necessary things like COVID and these other avoidable conditions can be taken off the table,” Budhrani said.

For people stricken with influenza, their bodies become compromised, Budhrani said. It will also leave a person vulnerable to other illnesses, such as COVID-19, as well as bacterial infections such as strep throat.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it recommends a yearly flu vaccine as “the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.”

More information on the flu shot is available online on the CDC’s website.

Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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