Health

Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander wants everyone to get their chance


November 2, 2022 — When Jason Alexander performed in the musical Broadway by Jerome Robbins in 1989, he caught the flu.

Turns out, not getting the flu shot that year almost cost him a Tony award.

“I missed six performances because my flu turned into bronchitis,” says Alexander, who suffers from asthma and is best known for his role as George Costanza in Seinfeld. “I’ll never forget how the producers said ‘No matter how sick you are, come back on stage.’ I spent a good week trying to do a very physically demanding show with bronchitis.

Although Alexander won the Tony, he never missed his annual flu shot again. That experience is just one reason he’s taking part in a new flu campaign, a partnership between the American Nurses Association and flu vaccine maker Sanofi.

Titled “Not Today, Flu,” the campaign features Alexander encouraging people to get the flu shot and urging loved ones to get the flu shot as well.

This is all the more pressing as flu season is in full swing and experts are now warning of a “tridemic” this winter as COVID-19 restrictions have been eased. The CDC reports that this year’s flu season is coming strong and early. Between Oct. 1 and Oct. 22, 443 flu-related hospitalizations were reported in the agency’s surveillance network, the highest number of hospitalizations reported at this time of the season in 10 years.

“With so much talk about vaccinations over the past 2 years, I understand why people avoid or hesitate about vaccinations,” says Alexander. “But the medical community is concerned that it could be a devastating flu season if people don’t get vaccinated.”

The purpose of getting vaccinated: To keep people out of the hospital and avoid respiratory complications.

Turns out Alexander knows a thing or two about life in the hospital. His mother was a nurse and he often rubbed shoulders with the sick who were struggling to regain their health.

“I grew up in and around the hospital where she worked,” he says. “I worked as a dishwasher and in the laundry there. My mom would have been very happy if I went into the medical field, but I’m a functional idiot, so I went into it instead.

In the end, Alexander has only one message: get vaccinated as soon as possible, especially with the holiday season fast approaching.

“Because we’ve been in a pandemic and everyone has moved away from each other, we’ve lost some of our natural flu immunity,” says Alexander. “This may be the first holiday season since the start of the pandemic where people come together with their loved ones. Why derail this because you’re stuck with the flu! »

And rest assured: the flu shot is safe.

“There are no horror stories about the flu vaccine,” he says. “It’s been around your life, it’s been well tested and it definitely won’t stick the keys to your forehead.”

To find a flu shot near you, visit NotTodayThe Flu.


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