November is a month of allergies and colds, dry wind and, for California, wildfires. But that’s not all the fall weather can represent…
The Flu Season.
Influenza, a.k.a “the Flu”, is a deadly disease that takes the lives of roughly 36,000 people and hospitalizes 200,000 people every year.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, taking the Flu vaccine annually is the best way to prevent this disease.
The Flu shot has been tested and proven successful at reducing the risk of getting the disease, hospitalizations and the risk of death by the Flu in children.
According to the New York Times, it is recommended that the Flu shot is recieved sometime around the end of October in order to ensure that the vaccine works at its finest when the risk of influenza is the strongest, between the months of December and February.
Therefore, getting the vaccine in the fall is the best way to prevent the sickness from entering the immune system.
However, despite scientific data showing how crucial these vaccines are in preventing the spread of this disease, many people nationwide still refrain from getting the shot. Some argue that the Flu Vaccine is not effective.
“No treatment in medicine is 100% effective,” said David Epstein, a voice of the Physician’s Weekly with a degree in medicine. “However, in my clinical practice, for those who received the flu vaccine and still became sick with the flu, their clinical illness was not nearly as severe as for the individuals who did not receive the vaccine.
According to the Meningitis Research Foundation, vaccines save about five lives per minute. If the number of people who take vaccines were to increase significantly, researchers estimate that roughly one-and-a-half million deaths could be avoided every year.
So no, the Flu shot, and other vaccines, may not be successful in completely averting diseases all the time, but they do reduce the impact that these illnesses may have on the entire population.
Another major factor impacting the number of people who accept the shot is social media. The Meningitis Research Foundation also found from a 2017 study that vaccine misconceptions were floating around on twitter.
These myths, when made public, especially by celebrities or public figures, alter the public’s view on medicine, often convincing them of false rumors.
To solve this problem, doctors and scientists have worked to develop Vaccine Safety Campaigns that help to publicize the truth regarding how incredibly important vaccines are to the health of the public.
“Throughout my career in caring for acutely ill and critically ill children with influenza, I have learned that complacency is an enabler of infirmity,” said Epstein. “[The public must] know the full extent of the risks involved and not hesitate to provide their children with protection from the flu.”