Beware! Flu Season Is Coming!


Beware! Flu Season Is Coming!

Anyone can catch the flu at any time of the year, but “flu season” in America lasts from October to late May, and according to the Center for Disease Control, there were approximately 42.9 million cases of the flu this year.

Every year, places like Walgreens, Wal-Mart, CVS, and Costco offer free flu shots to help prevent people from getting sick with the flu, which then in turn helps reduce the severity of the illness for those who get sick easily. Surprisingly, a lot of people don’t get flu shots, nor do they want them. With the controversy around vaccinations popping up in early 2019, it’s hard to tell if people don’t get flu shots because they think they aren’t effective, or if they simply don’t get sick all too often. 

History teacher John Corbin can’t even recall the last flu shot he had.

Out of five people who were asked about the last time they remembered getting a flu shot, only two people could give an exact date of when they received one. According to the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, a study found that more than half of America’s population have not received a flu shot, and even less intend to do so in the future. 

School nurse Annette Bollinger plants to get the flu shot, but hasn’t done so yet.

The reason some people don’t intend on getting flu shots this year is because of their concerns about the efficiency of the shot, the side effects, or they’re simply not worried about getting the flu. 

“I rarely get sick,” said senior Matt Sandoval. “I wouldn’t get the flu shot because I haven’t had the flu yet.”

According to the CDC, the flu shot causes antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after the shot is taken. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine itself. The flu shot has been found to be 50%-60% effective according to the Mayo Clinic. 

“I’m a big proponent for immunization. I think most medical professionals are,” said Bollinger. “There’s a lot of controversy of course around immunization, but for the most part and the background, it ups your immunity. If you look at the basis in the science behind it, it’s pretty much a given for why it works.”

Some people just don’t get sick, and some people have an illness every other week. Why?

“I do have some friends that don’t immunize. I can’t say that they are more sick than I am just because immunization, but I think typically people either are ones that get sick, or they’re not,” said Bollinger. “I’ve never been one who has gotten ill with anything, but it seems like some of my friends catch everything that’s going by. I don’t know if it’s the environment that they’re in, or the fact that they don’t immunize.”

The Flu has been found to be a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes death. Flu symptoms include a fever/feverish chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, and more. 

“I had a really bad case of flu in the 7th grade, and I missed a week or two of school,” said freshman Ava Meier. “I just started to get chills. I was hot and then I was super cold, and I would always have a sore throat. I was miserable.”

Many people have mixed opinions about the effectiveness of the flu shot, and many people believe that the flu shot keeps them safe from the illness. According to NORC, adults under the age of 45 are least likely to receive a flu shot, while 62% of people over the age of 60 (who are at higher risk of becoming sick) report the highest vaccination rate, so whether or not the shot is really effective, the flu is a serious disease that could affect your health in a major way. 

Make sure to wash your hands, don’t share drinks with other people, stay at least three feet away from people who are coughing or sneezing, keep your hands away from your face, avoid sharing food, bundle up, and get a good night’s rest.