By Adrianna Pitrelli
INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Eric Holcomb rolled up his sleeve Tuesday to get his flu shots part of a gubernatorial tradition.
“That wasn’t too bad,” Holcomb said after getting his shot. “Now let’s hope I don’t have to play basketball for a few days because my arm is for sure going to be sore.”
CVS pharmacies sponsored a day-long flu vaccination event at the Statehouse Tuesday where they gave nearly 400 shots to state employees. Last week they held a similar event at the government center and gave more than 1,500 shots.
First lady Janet Holcomb was among those who received a shot, even though she seemed reluctant at first.
“Make sure you swab my arm first,” she said jokingly to the pharmacist. “I’m really not a fan of needles.”
Influenza — often called the flu — is an illness which infects the respiratory tract. The virus can be mild, or can become severe enough to lead to death.
“It is really important that everyone gets the flu shot, especially because the CDC recommends it,” Katie Kieffer, pharmacy manager at the CVS on 16th and Meridian streets said. “The flu is one of those things that not only makes you sick but does kill a lot of people every year.”
Data from the Department of Health shows 55 cases of the flu reported in Indiana for the 2017-2018 season.
“It’s important to protect yourself and others as well,” Kieffer said. “It is really important that [Gov. Holcomb] gets it to show how important it is to get the flu shot.
Doctors recommend getting a flu shot before the end of October to stay safe throughout flu season. Despite the recommendation, Kieffer said she has heard people say they’ll get the flu if they get the flu shot, and that’s not the case.
“The flu shot is inactive, so it’s impossible to get the flu from the flu shot and it’s something that only causes good,” she said. “The worst thing that’ll happen is your arm is a little sore but that’s better than being hospitalized.”
Adrianna Pitrelli is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.