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Aronoff's Point Of View: Get a flu shot

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Aronoff's Point Of View: Get a flu shot

Aug 06, 2015

Dr.-George-Aronoff.jpgAccording to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 50,000 Americans died last year because of influenza and associated pneumonia. That's right, 50,000!

Last year, only one American died of the Ebola virus and only a handful of American healthcare workers were treated. Yet, there was a huge outcry for an Ebola vaccine. Would you have taken an Ebola prevention shot? Would you have driven to a drug store or doctor's office and paid $50 to prevent yourself from getting Ebola. Then why won't you take a flu shot that we give you for free in your dialysis clinic?

I understand why some people are reluctant to get a flu shot. A recent thesis by Michelle Weinraub, an elementary school nurse, examined why parents refuse to vaccinate their children. In her thesis, she found four reasons why families don't immunize their kids.

1. A concern about vaccine safety
2. Possible side effects on the immune system
3. The role drug companies play in influencing healthcare providers
4. The desire to make their own healthcare choices without outside involvement.[1]

Millions of people worldwide get flu shots each year.  Your chances of having a significant reaction to the flu shot are much less than your chances of actually getting the flu, if you don't get the flu shot.  Also, you can't get the flu from a flu shot because it does not contain any live viruses.

- Read more about Renal Ventures' efforts to vaccinate all patients and staff through a robust flu shot marketing campaign.

Make a personal choice. Choose to get a flu shot and choose not to get the flu this year. Choose not to give the flu to your patients and choose not to give the flu to your family.

[1] Weinraub, M.A. (2015). Why Do Parents Choose Personal Exemptions for Immunizations of Preventable Childhood Illnesses? (Unpublished dissertation).  Western Governors University, Salt Lake City, UT.

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