Should I Get a Flu Shot?

Written by   (author of Obvious Conclusions)

Question:  Hi there.  As winter approaches, I see signs all over the place to get a flu shot.  I am wondering should I get a flu shot or should I not?  What are the plusses and minuses of doing this?

should i get a flu shot

Answer:  Should I Get a Flu Shot? 

This is an absolutely tremendous question as we enter the flu time of season.  Now, I am going to give you my first impression and then I will tell you what the respected research says about whether or not you should get a flu shot.

My First Impression About Getting  Flu Shot:  Advice From My Friend, Who Is a Doctor

flu doctor adviceWhen you have a friend who is in the medical profession, you might as well seek their knowledge, right?  So, I asked my Doctor friend Eric “Should I Get A Flu Shot?”

I was surprised by his response to me, which was, “No, I don’t believe in flu shots for most people.

I was a bit surprised by this because most people tell me that you should get a flu shot.  His reasoning made sense though.  He said:  “People today are taking WAY TOO MANY medications for diseases and they not letting their natural immune system function.  Thus, they are weakening their ability to fight disease and, at the same time, they are taking drugs when they do not need them which may render these drugs ineffective when they really DO NEED THEM.  So, for most people with a regular immune systems, I say no to the flu shot.”

I liked his advice on this matter and I do believe that people take way too many medications when living and practicing healthier behaviors would be the right course of action.

So, my first impression from my friend-doctor, is “No, you should not get a flu shot.”

Flu Shots:  Further Advice

Of course, for every medical malady, there seems to be different advice and the case of getting a flu shot fits this bill.

According to the CDC’s page on Who Should Get Vaccinated Against Influenza, “all persons aged 6 months and older should be vaccinated annually.”  They go on to say that, when the flu vaccine supply is limited, doses of the flu vaccine should be given first to youngsters between 6 months and 4 years and those of 50 years of age and up.  Essentially, those with weaker immune systems should get the vaccines first.

The CNN page on the flu draws similar conclusions but points out several risks associated with the flu shot that you may not know.  For example, did you know that “26,000 adverse events”, such as fevers, rashees, headaches, and hives, have been reported by people who have taken the flu shot.  Importantly, this page also addresses whether healthy people should get the flu shot and concludes that this may be a charitable thing to do if you spend a lot o time in public places.  This way, you will not pass it on to other people. 

You will find many other articles that share the sentiments of the CDC and CNN page.  They are all essentially saying the same thing:  That the flu shot is a good idea.

Conclusion:  Should I Get a Flu Shot?

Well, after donning the research cap, it seems that nearly every expert disagrees with my friend, the doctor.  However, I am partial to his rationale that we as a society over-medicate.

So, should you get the flu shot? 

All the experts, except my friend, conclude that the answer is, “Yes, indeed, you should get a flu shot!

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Richard Cummings

Richard Cummings is writer, traveler, and web content developer.

Get your copy of his latest book entitled Obvious Conclusions, stories of a Midwestern emigrant influenced and corrupted by many years living in San Francisco and abroad. It just received its first outstanding review "...reminiscent of David Sedaris or Augusten Burroughs" on Amazon UK.
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