Oct 22, 2014 — It’s simple math: the more people that are immunized against the flu, the fewer cases the community will see. Executive director of Community Clinics Dr. Susan Terry says that if you don’t want to do it for yourself, get immunized for the people around you.

Interview

Interviewer: Get a Flu Shot for Grandma ... that's next on The Scope.

Announcer: Medical news and research from University of Utah physicians and specialists you can use for a happier and healthier life. You're listening to The Scope.

Interviewer: Dr. Susan Terry is the Executive Medical Director for the community clinics at University of Utah. The topic today, Get a Flu Shot for Grandma. And what I want to know is, even if I'm not getting the flu shot for myself, I understand that it could have a lot of benefit for other people in my life if I do get it. Can you explain?

Dr. Terry: Sure, the more people we have that are immune to influenza in the community, the less influenza we're going to see. So if you think about grandma, and maybe she has diabetes or heart disease, and she gets a flu shot, but her immune system just isn't strong enough to build up the immunity she needs to prevent influenza. The less she's exposed to people with the flu, the more likely she is to stay healthy.
So getting yourself immune, protecting yourself, you're also protecting your family. And if you're around any babies who are less than six months old or pregnant women who, again, may be at higher risk for getting complications of the flu, you're also helping to protect them.

Interviewer: What are some of the other high risk groups of people that are extremely susceptible to flu?

Dr. Terry: Sometimes we think of people who have chronic, obstructive lung disease, who are more likely to have complications. Pregnant women can get very seriously ill if they get influenza. We also think about babies and anyone who has any kind of chronic disease. We are more worried about them getting the flu and getting complications.

Interviewer: So if you don't do it for you, do it for somebody else in your life.

Dr. Terry: That's right.

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