Why you should get a flu shot
Getting the flu shot yearly keeps you and your community healthy
November 5, 2019
It’s officially that time of year—the time when noses get runny, throats get sore, fevers are reached, and muscles ache—flu season.
Influenza, most commonly known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness that usually affects the nose, throat, and lungs. The flu is one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United states, killing 36,000 people each year, according to Harvard Health. The best way to prevent the spread of the flu is to get the flu vaccine once a year.
Recently, there has been much uproar against vaccines in general. Many refuse to vaccinate children for religious reasons. Although, others hesitate due to the spread of false information. But parents need to vaccinate their kids.
Vaccinations were created for a reason: to protect communities from harmful diseases and viruses. By not getting vaccines, you put yourself and those around you at risk.
The measles vaccine was developed in 1963, and in the year 2000 the measles was declared eradicated by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control). However, in 2019, when so few people were vaccinated, there was an outbreak in the North East of the United States, killing 1,200 people.
So why did people stop getting vaccines? The answer to this varies—some believed that since the measles virus was “eliminated” there would be no reason to protect against it; parents were scared that their child (or themselves) would have a bad reaction to the vaccine; others believe that with proper hygiene would combat these deadly diseases.
There are so many common misconceptions about vaccinations, and if people were properly educated on these matters, the misconceptions would cease. One of these misconceptions “vaccines cause autism” has influenced many to abandon vaccines. This lie—first told by Andrew Wakefield in a 1997 issue of The Lancet, a prestigious medical journal—was baseless and held no argument. The article was later discredited and Wakefield lost his medical license over the dispute.
But despite all the stigmas around vaccines, the Flu is a dangerous virus, and getting your flu shot each year is vital not only to your own health, but to the health of those around you.
The flu is a dangerous virus and there is no reason to risk your health or someone else’s by not getting the flu shot. In order to prevent it, flu shots are available at your local CVS Pharmacy or Publix.
Olivia Godinez is a senior and the Opinion Editor for the Knight Writers and RHSToday. She is the Vice President of Thespian Troupe 2660 and Treasurer...