Are Flu Shots Really as Necessary as They Seem?


Kayla Manion, Health and Wellness Editor

Flu season is back and many Americans are rushing to get vaccinated. However, some people question if they actually need to get one.

The flu shot is a vaccine that prevents the influenza virus from infecting the body. Scientists gather data and make a vaccine twice a year based on the strands they think would be the most prevalent throughout the upcoming flu season.

The medical community, including the Center for Disease Control and the American Medical Association, strongly recommend that everyone receives the flu shot.

“Every eligible American should get their flu vaccine as soon as possible because we know it’s the most effective way to protect against the flu and its potentially serious complications,” the AMA said in an October 2018 press release.

Every eligible American should get their flu vaccine as soon as possible because we know it’s the most effective way to protect against the flu and its potentially serious complications.

— The American Medical Association

However, since people have been questioning the flu shot, The Rostrum decided to conduct a survey, taken by 28 people, to show what people think about it. The results showed that 50% do not receive the flu shot. Also 32% wonder if it is even helpful at all.

Some families refuse the flu shot. They believe that it is not helpful in preventing the flu, and that getting the vaccine will actually make them sick. Others avoid it because it was recommended by someone close to them that they should not receive it.

“My mom doesn’t like it,” said senior Kassandra Marron. “She’s a nurse and she always says no to the flu shot.”

She said her mother strongly believes that people who are healthy enough can fight it off on their own.

In addition, the flu shot is not 100 percent accurate, since the vaccine is created based on the most frequent strains predicted for that flu season.

Marron’s family does not receive the flu shot but, she said people should have the option of receiving it.

Infants and the geriatric population have weakened immune systems so they are more susceptible to getting the virus. Infants and the older population should think more about receiving one. Children ages 6 months to 4 years, and Adults 50 and older should be prioritized for flu vaccination, according to an August 2018 press release from the CDC.

School Nurse Gina Giaquinto is a strong believer that everyone should receive the flu shot, especially parents of an infant younger than six months old. Anyone under the age of six months can not receive the flu shot so she strongly urges parents to get vaccinated so they can keep their baby healthy.

“I have family members that are older and younger,” she said.  “I want to be healthy for them. I want to not get the flu possibly, but if I do get the flu it will be not as severe.”

The flu vaccination is not necessary, but it can play a valuable role in keeping someone healthy. It can potentially protect against getting hospitalized, avoiding many doctors appointments, and actually getting the flu.

In 2016 throughout 2017, the flu vaccination prevented around 5.3 million influenza sicknesses, and approximately 2.6 million flu related medical visits, the CDC said.

“An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to help protect against flu.” according to the CDC.