By Emily Branson / Staff writer
With fall rounding the corner and winter on its heels, we can all expect flu season to be approaching quickly.
Flu season is the time of year when class absences increase due to sickness, tissues are necessary for every classroom, and the sound of someone sniffling never goes away. That being said, one of the most important things that you can do is get your flu shot.
More and more people today are against vaccinations, and it all seems like silly reasoning. Vaccinations provide so many benefits, not just for yourself, but for the people around you as well. If you choose not to get your flu shot, you are putting everyone at risk. Just in the 2017-2018 flu season alone, 80,000 people died from the influenza illness.
One of my biggest fears is someone getting my little siblings sick because someone chose to not get vaccinated.
My youngest siblings are 4 and 5 years old. They were both born premature, which gave them a weaker immune system than most babies. They get sick easily. Before we brought my sister home after a month in the neonatal intensive care unit, my dad took all of us to the pharmacy to get our flu shots. When people came to visit, we made sure they were not sick at all and then required hand sanitizer to be used before holding her. It seems crazy, but it helped eliminate the chance of her getting sick.
While protecting little kids is my main reasoning as to why you should get a flu shot, there are so many other reasons. Some people will argue that getting the vaccine causes them to get sick. The flu shot does not contain the live influenza virus, meaning that it cannot give you the flu. If you choose to get the nasal spray, it does have the live virus, but it is at a weakened level. This means that it will also not give you the influenza illness.
According to www.cdc.gov, the reactions and side effects of the flu vaccine are always favorable and less severe when compared to the symptoms of the actual flu illness. Unvaccinated people put anyone with poor health, asthma, or other chronic health conditions at risk.
Another argument against the flu shot is that it is not 100% effective, which is also true. Here’s the thing – if you don’t get your flu vaccination, it is 100% ineffective. Getting the vaccine reduces your chances of getting the flu by 40-60 percent.
When it comes down to the facts, you are much better off just getting your flu shot. Whether it is your “personal preference” or not, choosing not to get vaccinated only puts yourself and other people at risk. Influenza can be an incredibly serious illness. We should all take it seriously and just get the vaccine.