Pros and Cons of Flu Vaccination

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Image Pulled From: My Fox Tampa Bay

I’ve been seeing this story in the news a lot lately.  Have you?  This little 9-year-old girl’s parents are claiming their daughter became paralyzed 3 days after her flu shot.  After the hospital has run numerous tests, they have found that there is no underlying condition that would explain this, yet they do not accept or deny that the flu vaccination is the cause.

I, personally, never get the flu vaccine as I’ve known too many people get sick after their shots.  If I’m going to get sick, I’d like it to be from natural causes, not because I let a doctor stick me with something.  But that’s me.  One year, I allowed my daughter’s pediatrician to convince me her flu vaccine was vital.  Despite my own hesitations, I felt I was doing her an injustice by not giving her the flu shot.  Shortly after, she became sick with a cold and I was reminded why I don’t take them.  Of course, the guilt I experienced for knowing that my

Shortly after, she became sick with a cold.  I was reminded why I don’t take them.  Of course, the guilt I experienced for knowing that my decision to vaccinate was what made her sick would have been similar to the guilt I would have felt if I hadn’t vaccinated her and she’d gotten sick.  Silly mom guilt.


That brings me to my question … Do you and your children take the flu vaccine?

Benefits of Flu Vaccination

Aside from hopefully not getting sick from the flu, what other benefits are there for vaccinating?

According to the CDC, vaccinating yourself may prevent the spread of illness to individuals who are at greater risk of experiencing major problems from the flu.

Babies younger than 6 months of age who are not able to receive a vaccination, the elderly, and individuals with compromised immune systems from chronic health conditions all stand to benefit by your vaccination.  These groups are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill.

Plus, if you do get the flu after vaccination, it should be a much milder case.

I received this information from CDCs form on the benefits of flu vaccination.

Flu Vaccine Side Effects

The CDC has a short list of post-vaccination side-effects.  You may experience these side-effects from either the shot or nasal spray.

They follow up with “Almost all people who receive influenza vaccine have no serious problems from it. However, on rare occasions, flu vaccination can cause serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. People who think that they have been injured by the flu shot can file a claim for compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).”

Digging a little further, if you want to know who shouldn’t get the vaccine, Flu.gov offers this list:

Talk to your health care provider about vaccination if you have:

  • A severe allergy to chicken eggs
  • A history of severe reaction to a flu vaccination
  • A moderate-to-severe illness with a fever (you should wait until you are better to get the vaccine)

GBS?  I looked into the link provided to get more information about GBS.  I was intrigued to find that individuals who were vaccinated for swine influenza in 1976 were at increased risk of developing GBS.  The scientific review of this increased link between GBS and swine influenza from 1976 wasn’t done until 2003.

Final Thoughts on Vaccinations

I decided to stop my research at this point.  For the time being, I’m going to continue declining the flu vaccine for myself and my child.  Maybe I’ll continue researching flu vaccinations, but reading these things really makes me wonder if place too much blind trust in these vaccinations?  I believe we should all do more research on the vaccinations to make educated decisions.  Even as much as I trust my daughter’s doctor, and he’s always said he would respect my decision as the parent not to do something, but I don’t think he’s going to ever tell me not to do a vaccination.  And that makes me realize that I need to be informed about as many of the potential side effects as I can before I simply accept any round of vaccinations in the future.

What do you think?  Will you be doing more research prior to vaccinations?

 

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