|1918 flu epidemic: the Oakland Municipal Auditorium in use as a temporary hospital. The photograph depicts volunteer nurses from the American Red Cross tending influenza sufferers in the Oakland Auditorium, Oakland, California, during the influenza pandemic of 1918. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
You don't have to get a flu shot. Someone might pressure you to do so, but it won't be this article. This article won't tell you how much mercury and of what type is supposedly in flu shot (an old debate) and if it did, you might not believe whatever we say anyway. What this article will do is give you a few more well-sourced resources to make an informed decision about whether or not the flu shot is right for your body.
Why We Have Flu Shots
Influenza kills, a lot:
- 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic - Between 50 million and 100 million people were killed, or roughly 1 percent of the world's population.
- 1968-69 Hong Kong Flu Pandemic - 1 million killed worldwide and 34,000 in the US alone, despite relatively modern medicine and technology that put a man on the moon that same year.
- For more flu pandemics: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influenza_pandemic
Here's a decent breakdown of the 2012-2013 flu season thus far with some reliable math to back it up:
So far this season, 20 children with confirmed flu tests have died, but that is presumably lower than the actual number of deaths because not all children are tested and not all such deaths are reported. How many adults die will not be estimated until after the season ends, said Dr. Joseph Bresee, the chief of prevention and epidemiology for the C.D.C.’s flu branch. Epidemiologists count how many death certificates are filed in a flu year, compare the number with normal years, and estimate what percentage were probably flu-related. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/12/health/us-flu-deaths-reach-epidemic-levels-but-may-be-peaking.html?_r=0
Finally, here's the official, somewhat technical page from the FDA about flu shots: http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/SafetyAvailability/VaccineSafety/ucm110288.htm
It might not change your mind, but at least you can say you're informed about the topic of flu shots. Keep in mind that you may not be getting the flu shot just to protect yourself, but to protect your young children or elder relatives from contracting the flu from you should you fall ill.
Christopher Lotito is a member of the Pequannock Historic District and Open Space Commissions. As an expert on local flooding he is also the author of "Torrent," a book about flooding in the region. Lotito's personal mission is to reduce new taxes, drastically reduce flooding, and preserve more green spaces for our children. Christopher Lotito Profile