The Flu Shot Top Five: What Millennials Should Know for 2021 and 2022

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By: Melissa Schenkman, MPH, MSJ

Timing is everything in life. But luckily when it comes to getting the flu shot we have a lot of options, and like most things in a millennial’s daily schedule, it’s more a matter of making the time to go your clinic or local pharmacy, than it is picking the right day in the season.

For me, that time came this on a Sunday afternoon in early October. After looking at my calendar, I planned to do any household chores that would require heavy lifting ahead of time, and went to my grocery store’s pharmacy to get my flu shot.

Minji Kang, MD, is the Associate Medical Director of Infection Prevention at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

The experience took a total of 30 minutes and that’s just because I was a walk-in this year, with an appointment it would have been 10 minutes max. While for some millennials that may seem like a lot of time, when you think about it, it’s far less time than the week away from work and your social life that having the flu would lead to. Plus, it’s a lot less pain even with a sore arm!

As you make your choice about when and if you are going to roll up your sleeve to get the flu shot this year, here are five things that members of Generation Y should keep in mind about the flu, according to infectious disease specialist and fellow millennial, Minji Kang, MD.

#1 It’s not just a cold.

Flu is not just a cold.  It can be life-threatening and come with severe complications. This can occur even in healthy millennials. 

#2 The flu shot protects you from severe disease.

Though not 100%, the flu shot will protect you against severe disease and is the best way to lower your chances of being hospitalized or of dying from the flu.    

#3 How severe a case of the flu is does not affect its ability to affect others.

Even though you have mild disease, you can still spread the flu to others who are more vulnerable. 

#4 A shot will help our healthcare system.

In this time of COVID-19, it is important that we do everything we can to minimize the burden to the healthcare system—this includes receiving your flu vaccine! 

#5 There is a winning combination for avoiding the flu.

The best strategies to avoid having a lot of flu and COVID-19 are to get ​vaccinated, continue to wear masks in public, clean your hands, and physically distance. 

To find more information on the 2021-2022 flu season and how it can impact you, visit YMyHealth’s Flu Season page.

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