Mike Mozart/CC BY 2.0
With flu season just around the corner, doctors recommend getting the flu vaccination as soon as possible.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 46 percent of Americans got a flu shot last year. Their goal is to increase that percentage in order to prevent worldwide sickness.
CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said that “If we could increase vaccination coverage in this country by just 5 percent, that would prevent about 800,000 illnesses and nearly 10,000 hospitalizations.”
Although many doctors encourage their patients to get the flu shot, there are a lot of people who fear flu shots. Last year’s ineffective nasal spray only furthered opposition to vaccinations, as many children still developed the flu after getting the spray.
“I have never gotten a flu shot before. Flu shots can prevent sickness and protect your immune system, but I refuse to get a flu shot because I have never gotten the flu. I have not yet gotten the flu, which is why I do not think getting a flu shot would benefit me,” said senior Katie Colton.
The CDC has said that the shot is far from perfect and is not going to work 100 percent of the time. It does, however, reduce the risk of getting the flu from 50 percent to 40 percent compared to previous years.
Although flu shots are not required for school vaccinations, many feel that they should be mandatory in order to prevent school-wide sicknesses.
Connecticut public schools have begun to require the flu shot before entering kindergarten, much like how most states require vaccines like Hepatitis B and Tetanus before entering public school.
“Vaccination is absolutely necessary. It is imperative that people who are capable of getting vaccinations get them in order to protect those who cannot, such as infants and the elderly. Flu vaccinations should not be a choice for teens, who spend so much time in schools perfectly designed for the spread of infectious diseases,” said junior Megan Uozumi.