Resulting in tens of thousands of hospitalizations and nearly 40 child-deaths, the 2017-2018 flu season is on track to be one of the deadliest flu seasons in years. According to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, the flu, or influenza, is “a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death.”
The CDC also estimates that roughly 130 million doses of the flu shot have been distributed during the 2017-2018 flu season. This equals out to about a third of the United State’s population having their flu vaccination.
This leaves many wondering why the other two-thirds of the population choosing to withhold from getting their flu shots?
A study published by the American Journal of Medicine in 2016 stated that of adults who had high-risk conditions, only 50 percent were vaccinated.
In addition, the study also stated that different demographics are more of less likely to be vaccinated. Adults who are unemployed, single, widowed, divorced or separated were among those who were not being vaccinated for their flu shot. People who were of older age, female, in contact with doctors, had prior vaccination status, possession of health care and were of Hispanic ethnicity or Asian race were among those who were being vaccinated for their flu shot.
College students often fall into the group of people who are not getting their flu shots. According to a report from the National Foundation of Infectious Diseases, as low as eight percent and as high as 39 percent of college students admit to being vaccinated.
On a poll taken by some Cabrini University students, 30 percent of students were given their vaccination this year and 70 percent were not.
Brittney Morello, a sophomore early education and special education double major at Cabrini University, explained that she has gotten her flu shot every year of her life.
“Our mom has made us get our flu shot every year since we were little kids,” Morello said. “I have never really had to think about it. It’s just something I’ve always had to do.”
Getting the flu shot is important to decreasing a persons chance on contracting the flu.
Working as a registered nurse at Wilkes Barre General Hospital, Carrie Dicton has seen many people come into her hospital with flu-like symptoms.
“It’s so important to get the flu shot,” Diction said. “Kids in college should definitely get vaccinated because they are constantly at the risk for the flu and that can develop into a more serious illness.”
There a number of misconceptions in regards to the flu shot. The CDC stated that one of the biggest reasons that people are refusing to get their flu shots is because people are afraid that the flu shot will give them the flu. Some people also believe that it is better to get the flu than the actual flu vaccine and some people are hesitant because of reactions some people could get after having the flu vaccination.
With all of the misconceptions that people gossip about, the CDC still encourages people get their flu shots each year.
“I would say that the flu shot has been working for me,” Morello said. “I have gotten vaccinated for the past 20 years and have never had the flu.”