While we’ve loved watching Sarah Chalke play various roles throughout the years (Stella on How I Met Your Mother, anyone?), we first fell in love back in the early 2000′s when she starred as the hilariously loveable Elliot on Scrubs. As she spewed out medical jargon like a pro, we wondered how much actors learn while playing doctor roles–we’d have to think twice before saying no to Dr. McDreamy, after all!
Turns out, this blonde beauty knows quite a bit about healthy habits and passing them on to her three-year-old son, Charlie. As the spokesperson for Faces of Influenza, she told us why she’s so supportive of the flu vaccine (and how it’s not too late to get it!) and what life is like after becoming Dr. Elliot Reid for nine years.
What do you love about this campaign?
I’ve had the flu shot every year for pretty much the last two decades. My whole family gets it; it’s something we’ve grown up with. And now that I’m a mom, it’s that much more important to me. Charlie is three and he gets it every single year. None of us have ever gotten the flu, either. I just think it’s so important, especially for people in high risk groups and anyone caring for those people, so you can create a wall of health.
As a parent, why do you think it’s so important to get the flu shot?
I think it’s so common to put your kids’ health first and you kind of let yours fall to the wayside because you’re busy, stressed and tired. Bottom line: it has to go to the top of the list. You want to protect your kid and not bring all the stuff you’re exposed to home. In my job, I’m exposed to hundreds of crew members on a show and we’re all eating from the same trays. At Scrubs, they would have a day when they’d bring the vaccine and everyone would get it.
Is it ever too late to get vaccinated?
You can still get it now! The flu season doesn’t even peak until February, so if someone has been too busy with work, it’s still a great time to get it because it only takes one to become effective and then they’re protected. Flu season can continue through March. And I think it’s such a bad flu season this year – there are record numbers of people coming in. It’s absolutely a great time to still get it.
An early—and potentially bad—flu season is already underway, the CDC reported last week. But it’s not too late to get a flu shot, says Kevin Ronneberg, M.D., associate medical director at Target, where he oversees guest care at the company’s clinics and pharmacies. We asked Dr. Ronneberg about the newer, less painful flu shot, how the vaccine affects workouts and more:
FITNESS: The CDC recommends that all Americans older than six months get an annual flu vaccine. Why do you recommend it for fit, healthy young women?
Dr. Ronneberg: Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu. Getting vaccinated reduces your chance of becoming infected with the flu virus—it can also help to protect the people you love who may not be able to get vaccinated.
All Target pharmacies (find one) now offer the “micro-needle” flu shot. Is it actually less painful?
The intradermal needle is 90 percent smaller than a standard flu shot needle and it is also preservative-free. Because the intradermal needle is smaller in size, it is inserted directly under the skin rather than into the muscle. This results in less muscle ache immediately following injection. Essentially, it’s as ouch-free as a shot can be.
We offer various options for flu shots—including the traditional flu vaccine. Our pharmacists are also available to help determine which type of vaccine is right for you. Read more
Have you had your flu shot yet? According to a recent survey, two-thirds of adults fear spreading the influenza virus to their loved ones, yet three in five remain unvaccinated against it. Some adults cite a fear of needles for avoiding their flu shots, which is why NCIS: Los Angeles star and father of five Chris O’Donnell was eager to team up with Sanofi Pasteur to introduce the FDA-approved FluZone Intradermal, an alternative immunization option for adults (18 through 64 years of age) that features an ultra-thin needle that is 90 percent smaller.
“My kids are little walking Petri dishes,” the busy dad joked. “We make it an effort to get flu shots. I learned about this different delivery system and I’m a big fan. This reminds me of getting your finger pricked than getting the regular needle.”
“It’s important to get vaccinated as soon as it’s available,” says Carlos E. Picone, M.D., F.C.C.P., Vice-Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at Sibley Memorial Hospital. Even though the vaccine isn’t 100% effective, he says, it will still lessen severity of the flu and make you less likely to get complications.
Dr. Picone also recommends daily exercise to help fight sickness. “Exercise boosts your immune system and shortens the course of disease. At the very least, dedicate 30 minutes a day to get active. You can do push ups and sit ups when you watch TV.”
Besides getting an annual vaccination, O’Donnell’s methods for avoiding the flu includes getting lots of sleep and washing your hands. “And also washing my kids’ hands because they’re the ones carrying it usually.”
Visit FluZone.com to learn more about FluZone Intradermal and where it’s available in your area.