Have you gotten your flu shot this year?
If the answer is no – and I’m not getting one! – you’re not alone. A new study finds more than 40 percent of Americans have not been vaccinated and, in fact, don’t plan on it either.
This is despite the warnings, potential dangers, and last year’s record-number of flu deaths. The survey was done by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago
The top three reasons why they didn’t want the shot were: bad side effects; thinking they’ll get the flu from the shot; or thinking it doesn’t work.
Some think the side effects are worse than the flu itself, but that’s just a myth. Usually the only side effect is a sore arm.
It’s also a myth that getting the vaccine gives you the flu. The flu vaccine is inactive and cannot cause the infection. If you do get sick after getting the vaccine, it’s just a coincidence.
And while it is true that the vaccine doesn’t work 100 percent of the time, the benefit is that it lessens the severity. If you do still get the flu you’re 60 percent less likely to need treatment.
Last year’s flu season, keep in mind, was particularly severe. More than 900,000 people were hospitalized and more than 80,000 people died. Many were adults older than 65, but also 180 children died from the flu.