The flu shot. Should you or shouldn’t you get one? That is a very common question to ask as flu season quickly approaches. The Mayo Clinic offers an article on their website stating that the best way to avoid the flu is primarily by means of vaccination. Does this mean one cannot avoid the flu if they don’t receive the immunization? What happens to the people who cannot afford the shot, or those who cannot access the places to receive one? Is one to be plagued by sickness if they were to go against injecting the inoculation?
While the Mayo clinic itself is a reputable hospital and research facility, the article, “Flu shot: Your best bet for avoiding influenza” (Mayo 2012) offered no evidence or support for the claim. There was support for avoiding getting the flu, but no proof that the shot itself would offer such protection. After further investigation, there were numerous studies repudiating the claims that are made regarding the efficacy of the flu shot. One such study (which was actually pro-vaccination) stated that the shot only provided moderate protection and was lacking in evidence in the 65 and up age range (Lancet). In another finding, namely the leaflet that comes inside the drugs packaging, the insert for FLULAVAL states “there have been no controlled trials adequately demonstrating a decrease in influenza disease after vaccination with FLULAVAL”. Then why take it?
While the side effects of the flu shot can be mild such as soreness at the injection site or aching muscles, they can also be as severe as an allergic reaction causing, guess what, flu like symptoms. Who wants that? Plus there is the chance that the vaccines don’t match the viruses circulating (Mayo). Now wait a minute, somebody is predicting the upcoming viruses and then making the immunization? How does that work? Are these same people consulting a crystal ball or palm reading the other doctors and...