One Shot, Two Shot, Red Shot, Flu Shot

One Shot, Two Shot, Red Shot, Flu Shot

Elena Krueper, Staff Writer

In a world where there is a perpetual fear of getting sick, it’s surprising that so many people are refusing to get vaccinated. With flu concerns and the COVID-19 virus running rampant, it’s interesting to look and see where different people fall on the spectrum of vaccination opinions.

Some people argue that getting the flu shot doesn’t actually work and that the harmful chemicals that it contains aren’t worth the risk; however, Mrs. Darlene Owings, a health teacher at Elkhart High School, points out why she feels this is wrong. She stated, “I’ve had both Pfizer vaccines, the booster, and my flu shot. In fact, I’ve gotten a flu shot every year since I’ve started teaching.  Do they work? I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve truly gotten sick, so I’d say yes.” Continuing on, she adds, “I choose to trust the science and the fact that the number of people who have issues with a vaccine is very, very minimal. There are several different strains of the flu,” Owings explains, “and each year, the CDC makes the prediction of which one will hit our area based on outbreaks around the world.  The system isn’t perfect and sometimes they get it wrong, but for the most part, it works.”

As Mrs. Owings says, getting a flu shot is extremely important. It builds up people’s immunity and protects them from the bulk of the virus. The science behind it does not lie. Although the shot doesn’t fully protect people from all of the flu symptoms, it is definitely worth it.

Getting the flu shot is also important because of the amount of daily interactions that people have and the number of people that others come into contact with. Mrs. Owings continued, “Most of us live in the mix of other people.  Between shopping and travel and just daily life, we come in contact with hundreds of people.  My reason for getting it is that I’m going to give my immune system the best support I possibly can so I eat right, get plenty of sleep, drink plenty of water, and then I get the vaccine.  In this COVID world,” Owings continues, “our immune systems have been affected.  We also don’t know for certain what the long-term effects of COVID will be, so any line of defense that we can add, to me, is worthwhile.”

This is extremely true. Getting a flu shot aids people’s immune systems and gives them the best possible defense from the virus. As Mrs. Owings points out, people should also focus on preventive care, like eating healthy foods, staying hydrated, etc. By focusing on and optimizing their health, people can help prevent getting infected with viruses like COVID-19 and influenza–two potent and ever-changing illnesses that have become the norm in the U.S.

While these points are true, many people are still adamant about not getting vaccinated. Mrs. Owings explained, “We live in an ‘it won’t happen to me’ world, so many believe that they’re healthy enough to avoid these viruses.  If that’s true, more power to them!” Owings goes on to say, “We also live in a world of ‘don’t tell me what to do,’ which is keeping some from getting the vaccine.  If they’ve truly done the research and/or are listening to reliable sources to make what they feel is an educated decision, then that is their right.  I think a lot of the issue was the speed in which the vaccines were created and approved with no real idea of long-term effects.  Typically,” she continues, “a vaccine takes years to create; these were up and ready in months!” Many people in the U.S. (and other countries) believe that getting vaccinated is a bad idea because of numerous reasons. Some of them believe that vaccines aren’t worth the trouble, and others believe that some vaccines have not been tested and tried enough for the public to be using them. While these are valid arguments, the science behind these vaccines cannot be refuted. So, it is imperative that people get their flu shots–especially with the COVID-19 virus going around–in order to ensure that they don’t get sick.

People have been divided on whether or not to get vaccinated for a long time now. Fear has been a big factor in this debate, as some are scared that vaccines will harm them, and others are scared that the worst will happen to them if they don’t get vaccinated. Everyone’s opinion on the matter is valid; however, everyone should also do his or her part to stop the spread of these illnesses and keep people healthy. Just as Owings says, “We all need to realize that we’re susceptible to these viruses when we make choices that put us at risk.  Yes, it can happen to you!  Yes, you can carry it and pass it to the people with you.  Yes, people are still dying from it.  But, YES, you can make the choices that protect your immune system by getting enough sleep, eating right, drinking water, washing hands, and if you’re sick, stay away from people!”