Students should consider vaccination benefits over risks
While historians would say we are living in the information age, some items on the internet would beg to differ.
Misinformation is a real issue. When it invades sectors as important as public health, the people must demand change.
Perhaps the most targeted public health measure by these sources of information is vaccines.
“Our mission is very simple. Vaccines are drugs,” the Indiana Coalition for Vaccine Choice’s mission statement reads. “They are known to have serious adverse effects such as lifelong disability and even death.”
In the next entry, one can see a fake magazine cover designed with fear-mongering and untrue claims such as, “Against forced vaccinations? There’s a FEMA camp for that!”
According to a 2015 study by Pew Research Center, this ideology is hardly the norm. In the study, roughly 82 percent of Americans reported children should be vaccinated.
Now that it is flu season, and that our own on-campus health clinic will be offering FLUARIX the quadrivalent vaccine by injection, it’s important to talk to healthcare professionals and, at the very least, understand our daily sources of information.
In our college community, we owe it to ourselves and each other to dispel this sensationalizing of a common and important medical service.
Student Health Center Coordinator Cathe DeCleene couldn’t agree more.
“The number one myth is that I’ll get the flu if I take the flu vaccine. This simply isn’t true,” she said. “You can get some side effects, but those take anywhere from seven to 10 days to kick in. Don’t look on the internet for health advice.”
DeCleene, who has been involved in health practices her entire career, said other myths include that receiving a flu shot guarantees a person will not get the flu or, if one does contract it, the symptoms will not be as bad.
DeCleene, who administered 126 flu shots to faculty and students in 2016, said a fairly consistent number of patients visit the Student Health Center to receive their flu shot.
“The benefits far outweigh the risks,” DeCleene said. “That’s the nature of medicine in general.”
While doing your homework on sources isn’t always fun, contracting the flu—particularly at this point of the semester—is worse.
Vet your sources. Your body and our community deserve transparency in health.