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Stop watching this video and go get a flu shot

It's flu season, and that means its time to get a flu shot. The government recommends that pretty much everyone more than 6-months-old does so. But, it turns out Americans are really terrible at getting flu shots: only 32 percent of people between 18 and 49 got their vaccinations last year.

Flu shot coverage

This is really bad news! The flu is very contagious and associated with thousands of deaths annually. To put things in perspective: Ebola, a deadly and terrifying disease, has killed approximately 3,000 during the current disease. In 2004, an especially bad season, the flu was associated with more than 48,000 deaths in the United States. Most of the deaths are concentrated among the elderly — who can catch the flu from you, if you don't get your flu shot.

Flu-related deaths

Something had to be done. So I went and shouted in the middle of Dupont circle and into the camera to remind everybody to help create herd immunity better than we have been. The needle was scary, and there was a brush with calamity. But in the end, I got my flu shot — and you should too.

Update: We revised the Flu shot coverage chart, which had a confusing axis.

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