Joseph Mirro, MD–WMCC President/CEO/CMO
At this time of the year, when the weather gets cooler, some people think of a beautiful fall, some look forward to football or the World Series (even if you are a Tigers’ fan) other start worrying about the snow but I am unusual in that I worry about the flu. I want to take an opportunity to remind everyone that it’s time to think about getting a flu shot. This is a critically important activity for all of us as it keeps us healthy and prevents the spread of flu. However, it is much more important in the cancer center because our patients are at a much higher risk for adverse events should they acquire the flu.
If you are a patient and you are not allergic, you should talk to your treating physician (either in the cancer center or your primary care doctor) about receiving a flu vaccination. Even patients on chemotherapy will have an immunological response and be at least somewhat protected against the adverse effects of the flu. WMCC can provide vaccinations to patients at the center. However, they should check with their insurance carrier first before having vaccines administered at WMCC—some plans do not provide coverage for preventative vaccines.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that everyone six months and older get a flu vaccine. The 2011-12 flu vaccine will prevent against three different flu viruses: an H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus and the H1N1 virus.
At WMCC, we work very hard to immunize 100% of our employees. This year, we will also be providing the flu vaccine to our volunteers. I also encourage everyone to speak with their family members. Since we all want to protect our loved ones, urging them to be immunized will help them stay healthy and reduce everyone’s risk of the flu. What a wonderful opportunity to help the ones we love.