Should You Get a Flu Shot This Year?
Every year the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) tells everyone to get a flu shot but do they really help? The CDC says it can't predict just yet how hard this year's flu season is going to hit, but they are urging people especially the elderly not to delay getting vaccinated.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Dr. Daniel Jernigan, flu chief at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said "Getting vaccinated is going to be the best way to prevent whatever happens,"
The CDC recommends "that everyone should get a flu vaccine to reduce the potential outbreak starting at 6 months of age and should be gotten every year.
Flu is most dangerous for people over age 65, young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions such as heart disease, asthma or other lung disorders, even diabetes. But it can kill even the young and otherwise healthy. On average, the flu kills about 24,000 Americans each year."
However, a lot of people have become skeptical about the effectiveness the these flu vaccines. Over the past couple of years, the mass produced flu vaccines haven't been particularly useful. Since the virus mutates very rapidly depending on the number of infected hosts, sometime the shots people get aren't even effective for entire season. Some even feel that the shot does more harm than good. By the time the vaccine for one strain is created, another strain has usually already mutated rendering the vaccine basically useless.
I HIGHLY recommend that parents get their children vaccinated against the diseases we actually have working vaccines for. But as far as a cold or the flu goes, I think more sensible precautions like dressing appropriately for the weather, not letting people cough and sneeze all over will work just fine.