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Achoo…I got the flu

The flu vaccine is recommended to most people except for some people in a certain circumstances (3-Some people should not get this vaccine). Picture by Rosalyn Ng.
The flu vaccine is recommended to most people except for some people in a certain circumstances (3-Some people should not get this vaccine). Picture by Rosalyn Ng.

by Rosalyn Ng, freshman contributing reporter

The flu vaccine is recommended to most people except for some people in a certain circumstances (3-Some people should not get this vaccine). Picture by Rosalyn Ng.
The flu vaccine is recommended to most people except for some people in a certain circumstances (3-Some people should not get this vaccine). Picture by Rosalyn Ng.

Only 30% of the people believe that the flu shots given are safe, based on a survey by Consumer Reports according to US Today. Many doctors and scientists are confused as to why patients believe that the vaccines won’t have the benefit to protect the patients from the flu.

Myth 1: The flu shot causes the flu

Based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the viruses in the flu vaccines are dead and it should only cause soreness. Only some people will catch the flu shortly after the flu shot because it takes around two weeks for the body to fight off the flu.

“The flu shot can cause some side effects, such as headache and runny nose but nothing severe. My mother got the flu shot and a day later, she started getting a little headache and a small cough. The doctor told her its just the effect of the flu shot. The flu shot can cause side effects due to the injection of the vaccine, but it doesn’t cause a severe sickness such as the flu,” freshman Kristine Vicente said.

Myth 2: The flu is just a bad cold

The flu is more serious than just a cold. For instance, many people who got the swine flu had to stay home from work or school. A cold goes away around a week but the flu is life-threatening and can cause pneumonia.

“The flu can have different effects based on your body type, and how it can handle it. I think the flu is not just a bad cold, although it can be cured easily with the medicine,” freshman Edona Mema said.

Myth 3: H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines is riskier than earlier vaccines.

“Actually, the new flu shot was made the same way as every other flu shot,” pediatrician Randy Bergen from Kaiser Permanente said.

Investigators have investigated flu vaccines side effects. It was analyzed that many side effects after the vaccines aren’t caused by the flu shots.

“I feel like today’s vaccines are safer because we have more advanced technology,” freshman Gabriella Cachia said.

Myth 4: Only sick people need a flu shot

Newborns and elderlies have a considerable chance of getting the flu. Young people are life-threatening to the swine flu.

“When healthy people get vaccinated, it can help protect the weak, including cancer patients, anyone with a compromised immune system and newborns too young to get the shot,”  Paul Offit from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia said.

Pneumonia is caused by the flu which affects the lungs and can lead to serious illness.

“I don’t believe that only sick people need flu shots because if you get the flu shot you get even sicker. After you get the flu shot there are side effects,” freshman student Sady Franco said.

Myth 5: Flu shots contain methylmercury and other toxic chemicals.

“We aren’t sure because they don’t tell us what’s in the flu shot and it’s suppose to help you,” freshmen Cammi Casalta.

Methylmercury and other toxic chemicals have been not included in flu shots since 2001 according to USA Today.

“Breast milk has more mercury contamination than vaccines. So does infant formula. But vaccines, like breast milk, play a vital role in keeping infants healthy,” Doctor Offit said.

Public Safety

Over time, the body’s immune system responds to the flu vaccine and keeps the body protected from the flu. The flu viruses are constantly changing and scientists are constantly updating the flu shot to keep up with the changing flu viruses.

Many locations offers flu vaccines such as doctor offices, clinics, health departments, pharmacies, and college centers.

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