Fall and the Flu Vaccine: Believe.

I am tired. And, I’m not the only Pediatrician who is tired. It is fall, the traditional calm before the storm of sick patients that hits our offices every winter so why tired?
Because, visit after visit we hear parents tell us that they “Don’t believe in the flu vaccine.” Really?
  • In 1900 influenza was the leading cause of death.
  • In 1918 Influenza killed between 50-100 million people worldwide.
  • It is estimated by the WHO that in 2009 the H1N1 strain of influenza killed up to 575,400 people. 
So, I ask, what is there to “not believe in?”
The flu vaccine does not give you the flu.
Influenza is not a cold.
It is not the stomach flu
 
In 1918 every mother in town would have been beating down my office door to protect her child against influenza. They believed in its power. I have had influenza twice, once was H1N1 in 2009. I too believe in its power and yes, I get my flu shot and give the nasal vaccine to my three children every year.
As Seattle pediatrician Wendy Sue Swanson said:
In the medical community, we’ll work to undo myths around vaccine safety for the rest of our lives.
We may be tired but, it is a battle worth continuing.
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