Thanksgiving marks the arrival of another regular occurrence though most of us do not discuss at this time. It's the impending arrival of the flu. We all know the influenza virus is coming but at this time of joyous celebration, we tend to avoid this topic. The flu season doesn't usually start until November and usually doesn't make headlines until the Holiday Season.
I regularly get the flu shot and I vaccinate my children too. But every so often, I question these decisions, particularly when I come across words that are new to me, like "live attenuated vaccine" or a new vaccine delivery type, such as nasal mist instead of the usual needle. This happened to me this week while deciding whether to get the annual flu shot or not.
The CDC's decision to play up flu deaths dates back a decade, when it realized the public wasn't following its advice on the flu vaccine. During the 2003 flu season "the manufacturers were telling us that they weren't receiving a lot of orders for vaccine,"Dr. Glen Nowak, associate director for communications at CDC's National Immunization Program, told National Public Radio.
Many parents waver on getting the flu shot for their children. They fear their children's bodies are already overloaded with vaccines and they don't want to add more if they don't have to. They also say, as with the chicken pox vaccine that was optional in Ontario until just recently, 'it's just the flu.' They are wrong.