I just wanted to cover a question that I get asked from time to time. My real world thoughts on vaccines:
It certainly is a controversial topic and people have seriously strong opinions about this issue, so I approach it with that in mind. I personally see the impact of influenza outbreaks in nursing homes…it can be absolutely devastating in frail elderly individuals. I also review that these residents get vaccinated and anecdotally, I can’t say I see many side effects or bad outcomes from vaccination. I can’t recall anyone ever getting hospitalized etc. due to the vaccine. In my mind the potential benefits of vaccination greatly outweigh the risks. Mild side effects do happen for time to time, but rarely is this ever a significant issue. If you are a young-middle aged adult in good health, you are probably going to survive if you get influenza without being vaccinated but I ask you to think about the ones around you who may not be in as good of health.
I spoke with an MD who was very frustrated with the vaccination rate in younger individuals, and she made a great point about that. She said that concerns over vaccines in older individuals are much less, when compared to the horrible diseases that they have seen prevented. Younger individuals don’t have experience with how severe some of the diseases that vaccines now prevent really are. I’m sure there are cases of severe reactions out there, and I fully respect not getting vaccinated because of that reason. Maybe the most persuasive argument I can make is what I do with my children, and all I can say to you is that they get vaccinated.
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