Nurse Explains Why Healthy People Should Get The Flu Shot 'For Those Around You'

Nurse Amanda Catherine Bitz has no time for people who think getting the flu shot is a pointless waste of time. And she's letting everyone know just why exactly immunization is so important.

In a powerful Facebook post, she explains why her opinion on the matter can be boiled down into one simple statement: "Hey a**hole, the flu shot isn't about you."

She begins by pointing out that the flu shot is meant to protect people against influenza, which is a "severe respiratory illness that can lead to death."

Facebook | Amanda Catherine Bitz

"Have you ever had it?" Bitz wrote. "I have, and it's awful. You spike fevers, every bone and muscle in your body aches, and no matter how hard you try, you just can't seem to catch your breath."

"You get the get the flu shot not always for you, but for those around you."

Although she could have certainly ended the post there and it still would have been incredibly poignant, Bitz wasn't finished.

Flickr | verchmarco

To emphasize what that sentiment truly means, she continued to explain who we're getting flu shots for:

"For the grandparents, whose bodies are not what they used to be, and they just can't kick an illness in the butt like when they were young.

For the 30 year old, with HIV or AIDS, who has a weakened immune system.

For the 25-year-old mother of three who has cancer. She has absolutely zero immune system because of chemotherapy."

The list continues, but Bitz makes her greatest point at the end: "The flu shot is NOT always about you. It's about protecting those around you who cannot always protect themselves."

"I have been in the room as a patient has passed away, because of influenza," she wrote. "I have watched patients struggle to breathe, because of influenza. I have busted my butt to provide Tylenol, warm blankets, nebulizers, etc. to keep that patient comfortable and fighting a terrible respiratory infection."

In a time when anti-vaxx voices seem to be shouting louder than ever, it's easy to forget what immunization really does.


Of course, vaccines are partly to help keep ourselves healthy and disease-free. But they also help to prevent the spread of those diseases from person to person, effectively eliminating serious, sometimes deadly outbreaks.

To give you an idea of their effect, here are just some of the diseases vaccines have helped us forget: polio, measles, whooping cough, mumps, and tetanus.

Bitz really just wants healthy people to recognize that there is power and there is a responsibility in getting the flu shot.

Instagram | @scpublichealth

"Herd immunity is a thing," she wrote. "Influenza killing people is a thing. You getting the flu shot should be a thing."

Since it was posted on October 7, Bitz's lesson on flu shots has gone viral, with more than 70,000 shares and nearly 50,000 reactions.

Unsurprisingly, the comment section is pretty divided between pro-vaxxers and anti-vaxxers.

"This is amazing," one person wrote. "Being a nurse assistant and now a nurse in long-term care for over 6 years I have watched on average 4-5 of my little elderly residents pass away each year from Influenza. It is basically a death sentence for them and their fragile elder bodies."

They added, "I cannot stress enough how important it is to get the annual vaccine."

Those who are against the flu shot definitely made sure their opinions were expressed for Bitz to see.

"I disagree because when [there's] a flu, I'm always the first to get it," one person commented. "I agree that it's harder on kids and elderly people. My immune system does not need anything it's not ready for."

This prompted another person to reply, "It's so that YOU don't SPREAD it to elderly people and kids. Read the post again."

At the end of the day, nurses and doctors can only plea so much. Ultimately, it's up to the individual to seek out a flu shot.

Instagram |

While we can only hope people recognize the life-saving properties of vaccines and all the diseases they help prevent, there will always be skeptics who insist the opposite.

But at least one nurses has taken it upon herself to speak louder than the rest, and bring her professional pro-flu shot views to the internet. After all, that's where anti-vaxxers prefer to get their all air-tight information from. It's definitely a great place to start.

h/t: Facebook | Amanda Catherine Bitz