Is that co-worker beside you hacking up a lung with their gross, congested cough? Well, you can't blame Rick Mercer — he's doing what he can to save Canadians from the flu this year.
On this week's Rick Mercer Report, the comedian's rant was dedicated to a topic near and dear to the hearts of all those who have ever been struck by a winter illness: The flu shot.
Considering the number of flu cases is already up for Canada this year, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the potential for serious illness — including death — from the virus, it seems like there are few good reasons to refuse the shot.
After reiterating that it's offered for free across the country and running through the reasons people say they're not getting the shot, Mercer makes his best possible point: "But even if you are healthy enough to fight the flu, if you get the flu, chances are you could pass it on to someone who can't fight it."
But don't just take our word for it — watch Mercer's pitch perfect delivery. And then, go get your flu shot!
Related on HuffPost:
Myth: The Flu Shot Makes You Sick
The flu shot can give you a sore arm and aches. Each year’s vaccine is only designed to protect against the strains it includes. Fever occurs infrequently after vaccination, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Myth: I Have To Get A Needle
A nasal spray version of the vaccine is approved for use in Canada. Provincial health plans may not cover the cost.
Myth: Flu Vaccines Don't Work
A review of studies from 1967 to 2012 concluded that standard injectable influenza vaccines containing three strains protect healthy adults aged 18 to 64 at a rate of about 59 per cent. Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert at the University of Minnesota and the report's lead author. "During some influenza seasons vaccination offers substantially more protection for most of the population than being unvaccinated; however, influenza vaccine protection is markedly lower than for most routinely recommended vaccines and is suboptimal," the report concluded.
Myth: Only Doctors And Nurses Can Give Vaccinations
Pharmacists in four provinces — British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta and New Brunswick, can give flu shots. Official regulations for pharmacists are pending in Manitoba, Quebec and Nova Scotia, said Jeff Morrison of the Canadian Pharmacists Association. Matthews said that by expanding the scope of practice for pharmacists gives people more options to get immunized, such as coming in for a flu shot during their lunch break.
Pregnant Women Can't Be Vaccinated
Getting immunized during pregnancy protects women and infants for the first six months of life when they can't be vaccinated, Dr. Scott Halperin, head of the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology in Halifax, said in an interview. If you are pregnant (or planning to get pregnant) it is safe to get immunized with the inactivated influenza vaccine, Alberta Health Services says.