Why getting a flu shot shouldn’t be controversial

Andrew Suiter, Staff Writer

It’s that time of year again where people are deciding whether they should or shouldn’t get a flu shot. While a good amount of people lean towards not getting a flu shot, there are plenty of reasons why you should.

I have personally received a flu shot every year as far back as I can remember and have felt that it’s always kept me from getting sick or at least sicker.

In a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during 2016-2017, “the flu vaccine prevented an estimated 5.3 million influenza illnesses, 2.6 million influenza-associated medical visits, and 85,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations.” CDC statistics show that “in seasons when the vaccine viruses matched circulating strains, the flu vaccine has been shown to reduce the risk of having to go to the doctor with flu by 40 percent to 60 percent.” It’s also been found quite beneficial to receive a flu shot for reasons other than preventing influenza.

A study published by the Women’s College Research Institute and Cardiovascular Division at the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada found that those with the influenza vaccine were found to have a lower risk of major cardiovascular events. In addition to preventing cardiovascular issues, a study from Leicester University School of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health found that the influenza vaccine has reduced hospitalizations among people with diabetes. The influenza vaccine has also been reported to reduce hospitalization among elderly patients with chronic lung disease in a study conducted by Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, Minnesota; and HealthPartners and Group Health Foundation, Bloomington, Minnesota. All of this information really hurts people’s arguments that they would not get an influenza vaccine because it would not only help themselves but, it would help others.

If people were to get an influenza vaccine, they would help prevent infants, young children, elderly people, or people with weaker immune systems from getting sick or even dying. In a report from the CDC the 2017-2018 season, there was a total of 185 child deaths due to flu and 110 child death the year before.

All in all, despite what some may say, people are better off getting the flu vaccine for their own health and for the health of everybody else.