Advanced medical treatments offer thousands of different vaccines to children and adults every year. Some of the most popular are the MMR vaccine, the DTaP vaccine, the Hepatitis A and B vaccines, and the Influenza vaccine which is commonly referred to as “the flu shot”.
Most vaccines we will receive in our lifetime are given to us before we start elementary school or as babies to prevent disease such as chicken pox. As we get older, we choose whether we receive or do not receive vaccines such as the annual flu shot.
I have never received a flu shot or any form of a influenza vaccine. Personally, the idea of being injected with several chemicals that I can’t even be able to pronounce kind of freaks me out, especially if it isn’t necessary to my health and well being.
Let’s take a look at two of the ingredients in the 2016 version of the Influenza shot:
Thimerosal, a preservative. Thimerosal is highly controversial because of its acclaimed link to autism. No scientific evidence relates this ingredient to cause autism in children, but it contains 49% mercury and can cause severe reactions in those who are allergic.
Formaldehyde, used to kill bacteria in the manufacturing process of vaccinations. Aluminum salts, to stimulate our immune systems to respond to the vaccination. While it can be concluded that most of the ingredients in the influenza shot aren’t harmful in small dosage, there is no 100% guarantee that you or your child won’t be the victims of fatal side effects.
Some also question the effectiveness of vaccines. In 2016 studies, the flu shot was about 50-60% effective. In my eyes, spending money on something that doesn’t only have so/so effective rates but also puts me at a health risk just doesn’t justify getting a shot.
After I chose to explore this topic, I had no idea how many twists and turns it would take me down. Not only did it open my eyes to how many different strains of vaccines there were to prevent disease, I also learned about hoaxes and potential dangers of what some would consider a preventive measure.
I think the smartest thing to do when temperatures begin to drop and those around you begin to fall ill is to stop and research before you run to Walgreens for a vaccine. Sometimes what seems to be “the right thing” might not be a good idea for you or your family.