Debate on the necessity of flu shots continues
TNE Editor
/ Categories: Campus News, Health

Debate on the necessity of flu shots continues

Published 11/4/16

Hannah Nielsen

TNE Writer

Every fall, advertisements begin to encourage everyone to visit their doctor or pharmacy to receive their annual vaccine in preparation for the year’s flu season.

According to the Center for Disease Control, 160 million doses of the flu vaccine are manufactured and ready to be distributed each year. However, many myths still remain surrounding the flu vaccine, the nose spray and inactivated versus recombinant flu vaccines.

“I just recently learned in one of my classes that there is no correlation between getting the flu after getting the flu shot,” said Kristin Mixon, Vinita junior. “If you do, it's because the flu virus was already inside you.”

Students have varying ideas on why one may get the flu when they have had a flu shot. Despite reassurance from professors and health professionals, some adamantly believe the flu shot does make them get the flu.

“I got a flu shot when I was 14, and I got the flu that year,” said Paige Garvin, Talihina senior. “I have not had one since. Except this year, I had to get one to observe at the hospital, and now I’m sick again.”

The flu vaccine is comprised of the inactivated, or killed, virus.

According to the CDC, medically this cannot cause one to contract the flu because of this. However, there are possible side effects including a low grade fever and body aches.

The nasal spray is made from the recombinant, or weakened, virus. While this still does not cause the flu, it does have a longer list of possible side effects, according the the CDC. In children these include fever, muscle aches, headaches, runny nose and vomiting. In adults, the side effects include runny nose, sore throat, headaches and coughing.

“I don’t get one every year because in order to create the vaccine, they predict the flu strand, and it isn't always the right one,” said Sara Butler, Idabel senior.

Butler is referring to what is called a good match, which happens when the season’s vaccine and virus are closely related. However, it is possible that there is more than one strand of the virus during the season, making the vaccine less effective.

The CDC still suggests getting vaccinated even if there is more than one strand or if the vaccine is not a good match because it can still be helpful in preventing flu related illnesses.

There may always be division in the ideas surrounding flu shots. It is everyone’s personal responsibility to do research and make their own decisions regarding their health.

For more information on the flu vaccine and virus, visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm.


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