[artist id="2973647"]Jason Derülo[/artist] had a stellar 2009 — a #1 Billboard Hot 100 single, an opening spot on Lady Gaga's Monster Ball Tour — and he knows that if he wants to step it up in 2010, he's gonna have to stay healthy.
That's why when the "Whatcha Say" singer flew into Chicago after a show in St. Louis, he stopped by Northwestern Memorial Hospital to receive a vaccine for the H1N1 virus (otherwise known as swine flu) and highlight the importance of young people getting vaccinated as well.
As the 20-year-old put it, "I was actually promoting my album, but I wanted to show you guys just how easy it is to get the H1N1 vaccine."
Sheila Barton, a nurse at the hospital, walked him through the process. The most important thing, she made clear, is to be sure you're healthy before receiving the vaccine. Luckily, Derülo announced he was in tip-top shape — he better be, after warming up crowds for Gaga — and signed a consent form to go ahead with the process.
You can get the vaccine either through a nasal spray or an injection (both are equally safe and effective, and you can find out at Flu.gov which is right for you). Derulo opted for the spray. The procedure was totally painless: a quick spray in each nostril and — presto! — a vaccinated platinum recording artist.
"That was so simple!" he said with a smile.
Derülo isn't the only high-profile figure to go in for a bit of protection this flu season. President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama rolled up their sleeves and took shots in late December.
So what's the fuss about the vaccine, anyway? Why is it so important to get vaccinated?
"No one has immunity to this," Barton said. "You may have some or very little immunity to this virus, and so it's important to get vaccinated to build an antibody response."
Oft-heard excuses like "I'm young, I'm healthy, I'm fine," she explained, don't hold up to verifiable facts: Young people are one of the populations most affected by H1N1.
"It's becoming fatal for them," Barton said.
But getting vaccinated and following common-sense hygiene measures, like washing your hands and coughing into your elbow, can go a long way toward keeping yourself and others healthy.
"Quick and easy," Derülo said. "And you may even save someone's life in the process."
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