November 2, 2022 — When Jason Alexander performs in the musical. Jerome Robbins Broadway In 1989, he got the flu.
Turns out, he almost lost the Tony Award that year for not getting a flu shot.
“I missed six performances because my flu turned into bronchitis,” says Alexander, who suffers from asthma and is best known for playing Jorge Costanza. Seinfeld. “I’ll never forget how the producer said ‘I don’t care how sick you are, get back on stage’. I spent a solid week with bronchitis trying to do a physically taxing show. spent
Although Alexander went on to win the Tony, he never missed his annual flu shot. 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.
In the campaign, titled “Not Today, Flu,” Alexander encourages people to get vaccinated and encourage their loved ones to get the flu shot, too.
It’s 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 are eased. The CDC reports that flu season is coming strong and early this year. Between Oct. 1 and Oct. 22, the agency’s surveillance network reported 443 flu-related hospitalizations, the highest number of hospitalizations for this time of year in 10 years.
“With so much talk about vaccination in the last 2 years, I understand why people are either avoiding or hesitant to get vaccinated,” Alexander says. “But there is concern in the medical community that if people don’t get vaccinated, this could be a devastating flu season.”
The goal of vaccination: to keep people out of the hospital and prevent respiratory complications.
Turns out, Alexander knows a thing or two about hospital life. Her mother was a nurse and was often around sick people who were struggling to recover.
“I grew up in and around the hospital where she worked,” he says. “I worked as a dishwasher and in the laundry room there. My mother would have been very happy if I’d gone into the medical field, but I’m a workaholic, so I went into that instead. Gone.
Ultimately, Alexander has only one message: Go get your shot as soon as possible, especially with the holiday season upon us.
“Because we’re in a pandemic and everyone’s been staying away from each other, we’ve lost our natural immunity to the flu,” Alexander says. “This may be the first holiday season since the pandemic began that people are spending time with loved ones. Why derail it because you survived the flu!”
And rest assured: the flu shot is safe.
“There are no horror stories about the flu shot,” he says. “It’s been around your whole life, it’s been well-tested, and it certainly won’t put keys on your forehead.”
To find a Flu Shot near you, visit Not today flow.