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Old 10-29-2009, 02:22 PM   #1
Jae Onasi
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Are you getting the flu shots?

There is some controversy about whether one should get vaccinated or not, sort of brought to the forefront by Brent Spiner's tweets yesterday. There are the "Pro-vaxx" people who think you should have every vaccine no matter what. Then there are the "anti-vaxx" people who think vaccines are more detrimental than good, or are just a tool for drug companies to make more money. I'm not up to doing a ton of research at the moment, but I did want to discuss the subject.

Here are my thoughts--there are definite benefits to vaccines for many people. Diphtheria, tetanus, and polio can kill or seriously impair people, so I think it's wise to vaccinate for that. If boys or men contract measles after a certain age, it can make them infertile, so it's wise for them to get a measles vaccine prior to that cut-off age. There are also concerns about having so many vaccines in a very short time as a young child. There were questions about whether the vaccines increased the risk of autism--I did read a research study recently showing there is no connection between vaccinations and autism, happily. People who are allergic to eggs or the preservatives used in the vaccines are not able to get them. There are some other contraindications for vaccines and flu shots, too many to list here.

My thoughts--they are generally beneficial, but not for everyone. Now, if an individual personally has a high risk for severe complications from flu, such as severe asthma or heart disease, or there is someone in the family who has heart disease or is on chemo and getting flu could be life-threatening, then getting the flu shot is likely to be very beneficial. If someone has an allergy, then it may be detrimental. However, this is something that should be researched carefully, and then each individual should talk to their own health care provider about their individual situations to make a wise choice on the matter, instead of just deciding based on what they read on (hopefully reputable) websites. It's so much more complex than a simple yes/no answer.


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