Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

October 12, 2012

Editorial - Oct. 12, 2012: End shot hysteria

The issue: Widespread belief that flu vaccinations can be dangerous to one’s health.

Our view: Take the word of medical experts and get inoculated. One in 8,400 Americans die from the flu every year.

 

In spite of an overwhelming endorsement from medical experts, some folks continue to be skeptical about the flu vaccine.

That skepticism hasn’t been helped by television and radio commentators, one of whom went so far as to say in 2010 his listeners would be idiots to get a vaccination.

Asked soon thereafter by CBS news magazine “60 Minutes” what she thought about such talk, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius didn’t hesitate.

“Well, I tend to like to get my medical advice from doctors and scientists,” she said. “And that’s what we would urge people to do.”

We join in that recommendation.

Part of the concern about vaccinations grows out of a federal program in 1976. Roughly 40 million people got shots, and about 400 developed Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a form of paralysis. Some died.

Scientists were never able to figure out what caused those 400 cases, but some say it might have had no connection to the shots. About 140 new cases of the disease are diagnosed in the United States every week.

In any case, medical experts argue that not taking the vaccine is a lot more dangerous than taking it.

Some point out that for the vast majority of patients, the flu is no big deal. Its victims will feel lousy for a few days, and then they’ll be back at work or in school, good as new.

Why, then, should people take the risk of getting the shots?

The answer, the experts say, is that in a very few cases, the flu can be a very big deal. It can be deadly. About 1 in 8,400 Americans die from the flu every year.

And the only way to protect yourself from becoming one of those victims is to take the vaccine.

Thus, the advice from the experts is straight forward: Get a vaccination.

Children under 6 months are too young for the vaccine, but everyone else under the age of 25 should get it. So should pregnant women and anyone caring for youngsters under the age of 6 months. The target groups also include health care and emergency medical service personnel, and anyone between 25 and 64 with a chronic illness or compromised immune system.

What will happen if people ignore that advice? Medical experts say the answer is simple: A lot more people will die.

If you want to be protected, get the shot.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • 'Reads' panel narrows titles Howard County Reads, a program introduced in 2004 to cultivate a love of reading and promote a sense of community, is another step closer to selecting a book for its 10th anniversary.In February, county residents began nominating a favorite for consi

    August 1, 2014

  • LETTERS: Concert Series 'beautiful musical experience' Store employees should split prizeSeveral weeks ago, a winning lottery ticket was purchased at one of our larger grocery stores. What I’d like to know is why the upper-management get a large cash prize (which they don’t need) while the employees of t

    August 1, 2014

  • Work program requires buy-in from industry Good help is hard to find.That’s essentially what Indiana companies have insisted for several years. The state struggles with a “skills gap,” the firms explain. They need employees, but can’t find enough — or in some cases, any — qualified Hoosiers.

    August 1, 2014

  • Take a walk to school At the risk of sounding like “old fogies,” we remember walking to school when we were kids.Back in the day, that’s how it was. If it was within walking distance, you were walking to school.Today, like much else, it’s a very different picture. The vas

    July 31, 2014

  • DAN COATS: New Harmony marks its 200th anniversary Situated between St. Louis and Louisville, New Harmony is a small town in southwest Indiana smaller than 1 square mile in area. Fewer than 1,000 Hoosiers call this serene Posey County community home.Despite its size, the town has monumental significa

    July 31, 2014

  • LETTERS: Marriage culture in area must change Marriage culture in area must change Last week's article on the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Kids Count report caught my eye. While I'm happy that Indiana is improving in the educational domain, the poverty statistics are saddening. I was just s

    July 31, 2014

  • A lookat IU salaries Of the five highest paid employees of Indiana University, three are involved with athletics. That was the case in 2013 as well.In new evidence that spending on athletic department salaries is outpacing the rest of the university, if not the vast majo

    July 31, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: Let's put lethal injection to sleep

    It was only a matter of time before this happened again; and I’m sad to say I’m not surprised at all.
    On July 22, the Supreme Court gave the go-ahead for the killing of Arizona death row inmate James R. Wood III, who had filed suit requesting a delay until the state revealed the details of the drugs that would be used to end his life.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Plot a plan to quit now OK, so maybe today isn’t the perfect day to quit smoking. For years, the experts were preaching any day was a good day to quit, and they had annual campaigns encouraging people to give up the habit.The campaigns raised awareness, and they led many sm

    July 30, 2014

  • LETTERS: City should celebrate its young track star City should celebrate its young track starCongratulations to Tionna Brown, who has given the city of Kokomo the platform to acknowledge what commitment, perseverance, sacrifice and determination can do.I find this a unique opportunity for her Common

    July 30, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll