Murphy gets his flu shot, urges others to do same

By:  Johnny Burnham
New Britain Herald

NEW BRITAIN — Chris Murphy is most well-known for being one of Connecticut’s two United States senators. And while he was certainly still Sen. Murphy Monday morning when he walked into the Target pharmacy on Hartford Road to get a flu shot, that title took a back seat to being a husband, a father, and a responsible citizen.

Murphy, who has two young sons, said it was important that everyone gets a flu shot — if not for their own well-being, than to protect those they hold near and dear to their heart.

“It’s amazing to think that about half the population doesn’t get vaccinated,” he said, adding that those who do not take the time to get the shot are putting their co-workers, their friends, family and their young children at risk.

He said thousands of people die every year in the United States due to the influenza virus. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that, on average, 36,000 die as a result of the virus each year. Furthermore, the senator said, 100 million workdays are lost every year as a battle with the flu leaves those infected too ill to work.

There’s simply no reason, he added, to not protect yourself against it.

“It used to be a little more difficult” to get the vaccine, he said. “But now you do not even have to go to your physician anymore.” He added that you can pop into places like Target, Walmart and other pharmacies and clinics to get the shot on the spot.

“It’s so easy to get it,” Murphy said.

Jennifer Sheehan, the pharmacist who administered Murphy’s shot on Monday, said while talking to the senator that October is typically the busiest month for flu vaccines, adding that many have come to specifically ask for the FluBlock shot that Murphy received.

FluBlock, which is safe for those who suffer from an egg allergy, is made locally in Meriden by Protein Sciences.

The CDC says that everyone six months of age and older should get a flu vaccination every season. Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications from the flu, in particular the elderly.

“I can testify, and as someone who doesn’t like going to the doctor, the shot doesn’t hurt at all,” Murphy said.