NOV 29, 2015 02:22 PM PST

Many Think the Flu Shot is Unnecessary

WRITTEN BY: Kerry Evans
A study conducted by NPR and Truven Health Analytics found that most Americans don’t think they need the flu vaccine.  

Among 3,000 people polled, 48% didn’t think the vaccine was necessary for them, 16% were concerned about side effects, 14% thought the shot would give them the flu, and 8% though it was ineffective.  

The flu virus kills nearly 25,000 people a year in the United States, and hospitalizes nearly 200,000. Those numbers alone should convince people to get vaccinated!  The virus causes symptoms such as fever, muscle pain, headache, cough, and even viral pneumonia.  On top of these not-so-fun symptoms, flu worsen chronic conditions like asthma and heart disease - 50% of adults hospitalized for flu last season had heart disease.   
 
Many people don't think they need the flu vaccine.

There are essentially two types of flu vaccines - a shot containing inactive virus, and a nasal spray containing live, but weakened virus.  The shots are either trivalent or quadrivalent, meaning they protect against three, or four strains of virus, respectively.  This year’s nasal spray protects against four strains (quadrivalent).  

Be it by shot or nasal spray, I'll leave you with two reasons to get vaccinated.  First, it will decrease your chances of getting the flu.  I mean, who wants the flu?  It’s not just “a cold”, it’s a serious illness with potentially serious complications.  Second, when you get vaccinated, you are less likely to pass the virus to your friends and family, a phenomenon known as herd immunity.  Even if you don’t mind getting the flu, they might!
 

Sources: NPR, CDC, vaccines.gov, Wikipedia
About the Author
  • Kerry received a doctorate in microbiology from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
You May Also Like
MAY 24, 2018
Microbiology
MAY 24, 2018
400 Million Years of Evolution can Help Improve Therapeutics
Scientists have recently learned more about HIV by studying the evolutionary race between a virus and an anti-viral protein....
JUL 17, 2018
Microbiology
JUL 17, 2018
Understanding how Microbes Will Accelerate Climate Change
As permafrost starts to thaw out, it's exposing untold numbers of new bacteria, which can spew out methane....
JUL 19, 2018
Microbiology
JUL 19, 2018
Mom's Microbiome has a Big Impact on Kid's Autism Risk
For many years, scientists have been trying to learn more about the causes of autism....
JUL 21, 2018
Cell & Molecular Biology
JUL 21, 2018
Revving the Nanomotor
Many people have never heard of cilia, but these tiny appendages are an essential part of the cell....
AUG 06, 2018
Microbiology
AUG 06, 2018
How Undetected Viral Infections Impact our Health
It seems that when people are infected with CMV but don't have any obvious symptoms, there may still be effects....
AUG 13, 2018
Immunology
AUG 13, 2018
Silent Viruses Impact Microbe and Immune Cell Populations
Subclinical infections may alter the immune system and gut microbiota in the human host impacting how we respond to environmental stimuli like vaccines....
Loading Comments...