Have You Gotten Your Flu Shot?

Scientific American has a great article about vaccinations and herd immunity. Herd immunity refers to “the level of immunity in a population that’s needed to prevent an outbreak from happening.” We all know those people that eschew the flu shot every year because they think it might make them sick, or they claim they never get the flu, or they just plain don’t trust what’s in that needle. I am not going to criticize those people. I am going to let this article do it for me.

What you might not realize is that these vaccination campaigns for flu and other diseases are about much more than your health. They’re about achieving a collective resistance to disease that goes beyond individual well-being—and that is governed by mathematical principles unforgiving of unwise individual choices.

Another point on herd immunity from Second Nexus:

Of course, the average young and healthy person probably has little concern of developing a dangerous side effect of the flu, but the benefits of herd immunity is not even directed at the young and healthy: it is for the more susceptible among us — the pregnant, the very young, the elderly and the immunocompromised. For these people, immunization is crucial, but only if the vast majority of the population is taking part…

hundreds of thousands of people saw hospitals during flu season, and thousands more have died from influenza. This is a reality.

This is not about the vast majority of Americans who will survive the 2017-2018 flu season and subsequent seasons; it is for those who have no decision in whether they get ill or not.