Column: Flu vaccination keeps us healthy

by Connor Vasu

Hacking and wheezing have been staples of my household for weeks, as my brother and parents have all had what we suspect is the nasty flu.

My family members were vaccinated against the flu, but it was too late for them.

One of my pet peeves is people claiming that because the vaccine is a small dosage of weak bacteria, it gives them the flu. Although the vaccine is only 60 percent effective and takes up to two weeks to work, it does not cause the flu at all. Rather, it prevents people from contracting the disease.

We hear it from high-profile politicians like congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who two years ago claimed that a HPV vaccine shot had caused autism.

In addition, it is not a good excuse to skip immunization to say that one does not have time to get a shot. It takes 10 minutes to go to the local CVS or hospital compared to a week or more sniffling at home if one does contract the flu.

What’s more, vaccines not only prevent you from getting sick, they help others around you stay healthy as well. This year in Boston, dozens have already died from the flu. This is because it only takes one unimmunized person to risk the health of everyone around him.

At this school and most others, we have a fall program in which students can receive the flu shot for free. Although some students take advantage of it, the majority do not. For example, only a few people in my class of 30 went to get a shot when prompted.

I urge you to get immunized if you already have not, as this season’s flu is considered severe, and Boston, along with other cities, have already declared a state of emergency from it.

Listen to the facts, not irrational flu-shot-denying beliefs that can harm your health. Do not be my family, and make the right decision for your health, instead of sniffling in bed for weeks. Trust me, as the only member of my family that is not sick, that one shot is worth it.

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