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Should I get the flu vaccine?

I posted this a few years ago and I’d like to say that I have gone the last two years to get my flu shot. But when I was talking this year about going to get it I had a lot of people say “eh, I’m still not really sure why I would go get it” so I thought that this was prudent to reblog. As misinformation about all types of vaccinations abound right now it is important that we talk to individuals who actually understand the science, and the challenge with that is that the misinformers truly believe that they have correct information which makes them sound really confident in what they are saying. And they all seem to be able to cite some sort of example from somewhere that justifies their opinion. This is where talking to your pharmacist can help, they are trained in medications and they can tell you if you’re likely to have some sort of reaction or if there is a reason you shouldn’t get the flu shot but they have years of training and ongoing education to allow them to do this, not opinions based on a few anecdotes.
I’d also like to add that since that first time of feeling quite ill after the flu shot I haven’t experienced it again, a little muscle soreness where they do the injection, but no feeling ill for a few hours.

Connecting with Science

Typically speaking I don’t get the flu vaccine. I cling to older guidelines that indicate that it is most necessary for the young, the old, and the otherwise compromised. However, a recent Nova episode on vaccines has forced me to think.

Now I should start with the fact that I am totally for vaccination. I think that the health benefits far outweigh any risks. One risk that I would like to address here is the unwarranted connection with autism. This is a concern that I have heard from students in several biology classes. It began with Dr. Wakefield who published a study in 1998 that linked a number of different vaccinations with a specific type of autism. 10 years later he was found guilty of ethical, medical, and scientific misconduct. Multiple studies since have proven that his data was fabricated. The issue is that sometimes symptoms show up around the…

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About Tai Munro

I am passionate about making science, sustainability, and sport accessible through engaging information and activities.

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