How much of a germaphobe are you? Do you make all visitors use hand sanitizer and wash with soap for at least 30 seconds or do you religiously follow the 5 second rule for all of your food? The inescapable fact is that our immune system does battle every single day against the entire world that is populated by germs-galore. One way is to get a flu vaccine. Every year, theres a period of time usually during Fall where everyone’s got “the bug” and it hops around from sneezes and coughs through handshakes and hugs, and ultimately making us a little more “worse for wear” during the holiday season (which is the last thing we want). So with scientific and medical advances, we trust the Doctors who say “get a flu shot.” There are benefits and evidence that access to vaccinations is great for society; after all, we don’t want another fatal Influenza epidemic affecting chunks of the population. One article says, “… the vaccine is effective for both individual and population-level protection, but only modestly so, and its effectiveness varies based on its match with circulating strains.” So the bottom line is better to be safe than sorry, right?
Well, there’s a little more to it.
If vaccines are supposed to be good for you, why is it that a huge number of organizations and individuals are opposing their mandated use? Lately, all the debates and arguments boil down to the fact that its really about choice; this culture values the ability for the individual to choose what is best for their body. That’s why it makes sense for mom’s and the rest of society to seriously question (or create an uproar about) the laws that mandate the flu vaccination, as was recently seen with rulings about SB277. This is the California law that forces those in the state to get the vaccine, or “lose their State Constitutional right for a free and appropriate education in public and private schools, K-12.” The reason why there is opposition to the flu shot is the fact that there is no choice, and for those who research and discover the risks including high exposure to several types of chemicals and toxins that can endanger children, a choice is a big deal. It’s a valiant effort by the government to try to ensure availability of the vaccine in order to create a healthier society, but it is also very misguided of them to be mandating and forcing this upon Californians who disagree.
PBE’s are Personal Belief Exemption forms, and they may be submitted by a deadline to allow individual’s a choice in the matter. For those who adamantly feel that vaccines are harmful, there are alternative options (as well as mythbusters) on this site that can offer more information about how to treat the flu.
Ultimately, doctors, along with everyone else in the health industry, know that there are limitations to the vaccine, but it is better than nothing. For more information from both points of view, take a look at the links below.