With fall upon us, so is the flu season. Oh joy! Most of us have known the ugly symptoms of flu and colds before and I am sure that most can agree that it’s not something that you likely wish on even your worst enemy. Aside from trying to navigate the many aisles’ worth of medications, vitamins and ointments which are supposed to help us mend more quickly from our annual bouts of sickness comes the all-too-familiar and deeply controversial flu vaccine. For as long as I can remember, there have been those who are steadfast in the camp that one SHOULD get the flu shot if for no other reason than to help prevent passing it along to those more vulnerable and then, of course, there are those persons who are equally as adamant that one should NOT settle for the needle, or more recent mist (now, highly discouraged this season by the CDC for its lack of efficacy) citing many reasons. So, what does one do?
To vaccinate or not to vaccinate, if you will.
I am okay, as an adult, with making the best informed decision that I can make as a consumer (and yes, this serum is definitely in part a consumerism issue), but as a laymen person without a medical/scientific background, I do tend to rely on information provided by my doctor and/or pharmacist as to what is best for me. The problem with that is that I am not sure that ANYONE truly KNOWS what is best in this wide debate since various research/reports seem to support both sides of the flu shot argument not to mention the slant that various media takes. What may be worse yet, however, is the thought maybe someone does know, but they don’t want to tell us for fear of dollars lost since the number of vaccinations has grown by over 100 million in the past two decades. Or, worse again–what if, because of dollars potentially lost, ‘mum’s the word’ not just because of lack of efficacy, but also because of potentially harmful, even long-term effects caused by the shot? Yikes! That’s a whole other ball game. While it has been common knowledge that the chosen vaccine for each year may or may not be effective depending on the strain that surfaces, withholding facts from the public for financial gain is a scary prospect, though not surprising, I guess. Personally, I can live with the idea that getting the shot may or may not protect me against the flu since it is clearly hard to determine which illnesses will come our way from season to season. What I have great difficulty with is being out and out lied to with my personal health and well-being at stake.
The following article published in December 2015 by a Johns Hopkins’ scientist was recently brought to my attention. Like any other finding in the media, it may or may not have merit, but it is certainly worth considering as the drug companies gear up for another successful 135+ million shots to be given out.
What do you think? Are we Succumbing to the scares of modern day media who will often report anything to gain its own fame/fortune or is there a real pause for concern?