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‘It’s not too late’ to get a flu shot

-graphic by Olivia Lauter

LeopardLife Audrey McCaffity and Mathias Alling, Staff Writers

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As it is is flu season, many have opted for a flu vaccine to fight the illness.  There are split opinions on flu vaccines and other immunizations.  With more than 25 vaccines available in the U.S., opportunities exist to prevent varying sicknesses and germs.  Various viewpoints are shared over the pluses of vaccinations.  Others differ in their opinions.

        As a new illness strikes, the question of getting an immunization or not resurfaces, and many have opinions of their own about it.

Immunizations have the potential to assist the immune system in fighting off or keeping away diseases such as the flu. Vaccines can have many pros; however, they have the ability to potentially harm the recipient. There are possibilities of allergic reactions and serious side effects, but some people just don’t believe that immunizations have are very effective.

The main reason most people get a flu shot is that it builds and prepares your body for a flu infection that way you are more likely to not catch the flu and even if you do catch the flu it will be mild and not as bad as some of the other cases.

“It helps your body build up antibodies to the flu, even if you do catch the flu it makes it more mild and manageable,” said Gretchen young, school nurse.

The flu shot has been shown to be most effective throughout the years, some are skeptical about the flu shot because they think they never work. Although the flu shot is sometimes a dud they usually work well.

“(the flu shot effectiveness) varies year to year depending on the CC’s information, but it is usually very effective,” said Young.

The flu shot works by exposing your immune system to the flu, but not the actual virus, just the parts that will allow your immune system to create antibodies without getting sick. This makes the immune system more effective against a real flu attack  

“The flu shot exposes your body to the antigens of the flu virus which makes your body build up its antibodies so it will defend against a real flu infection better,” said Young.

        “I do not because I don’t like going to the doctor, and I don’t really believe that it (vaccinations) works really well.  I also don’t think that vaccinations are that effective because I haven’t gone to the doctor to get vaccinations and I have been just as fine as my friends who did,” seventh-grader, Devon Larimer, said.

        Some students believe that the benefits of vaccinations outweigh the risk. Though these students may be busy, they still take the time to go and get an extra vaccination to help themselves stay healthy.

        “I think it is based on what you believe because honestly the one year I got a flu shot I got the flu. I don’t know how, but I did. I think if an immunization is necessary and highly recommended you should definitely take the time to do research and think about receiving it,” eighth-grader, Addison Wimbish, said. “I don’t get shots even if something is going around because they cost money and I don’t normally have time to go.”

        While some students don’t rely on vaccinations, others have confidence that they work well and can help prevent illnesses.

        “I think it helped because I haven’t gotten sick yet. I think that getting immunizations can help prevent you from getting sick and that can be very helpful when the sickness starts to go around,” eighth-grader, Geneva Miller, said.

                “Every year I get vaccinated for the flu because I don’t want to play catch up with classwork. Vaccines are effective because I haven’t gotten the flu in my entire life. The medical industry has significantly advanced with their vaccinations because of all the new technology over the past several years,” seventh-grader, Julia McPherson, said.

        Whether it’s flu, strep, or bronchitis, these illnesses affect many students in various different ways and there isn’t always a vaccine to prevent it.

        “No flu season is the same and the infection may affect different people in different ways, but millions receive the disease yearly and hundreds of thousands are hospitalized with thousands dying from flu-related causes every year. It doesn’t even matter how healthy one is, they are still at equal risk for the flu to strike,” eighth-grader, Eric Wang, said. “Before deciding on a shot, always consult a doctor or talk to a healthcare professional to determine what would be best for you.”

 

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‘It’s not too late’ to get a flu shot