People will endure a little inconvenience if they have to, depending on the reward at the end. But since getting a shot is not really high on most people list of favorite things, the Health Department brought the flu vaccine to town employees Tuesday. The department vaccinated dozens of town employees, including most department heads in what was touted as the “Flu Shots for Big Shots” vaccination campaign.

“The biggest thing is we want to encourage people to get their flu shots,” said Health Director Rhonda Capuano. “It just takes a few minutes, and if people can do it while on a short break from work, that will only encourage more people to get it.”

Last year the flu had one of its deadliest years in recent decades, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting more than 80,000 fatalities in the 2018-18 flu season. That was the highest number of flu deaths since 1976. Other than last year, the number of fatal cases of the flu has ranged from about 12,000 in 2011-12 to 56,000 in 2012-13. Most flu deaths are among the elderly, children, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems.

The flu vaccine reduces a person’s risk of contracting the flu by about 40%, meaning even someone who receives a flu shot should take additional precautions. The CDC recommends preventative actions, the most important of which is frequent hand-washing. Those feeling ill should also cover their cough and stay home, to prevent spreading the flu to others.