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Why Do Some People Decide Against Receiving Flu Shots?


William Schaffner, MD, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, lists some of the common reasons behind why individuals decide against getting their flu shots, and why they should reconsider.

Interview Transcript (modified slightly for readability):

"There are a number of reasons people [use to] avoid [getting the flu vaccine]. They’re busy; they’re running around. Some people are needle-phobic, so they don’t like that. My response is, ‘You’re worried about that? Roll up your sleeve and look the other way. Because you may get a sore arm for a day, but think of the disease that you’re preventing.’’

Then there are some people who are concerned about the effectiveness of the vaccine, and I keep emphasizing that it’s the best possible prevention that we have today. Even if it doesn’t prevent the disease completely, it will make the illness milder. And, that’s the best we can do in medical science today, while my friends in the research lab are working to make a better vaccine.

I like to paraphrase that old French philosopher Voltaire: “Waiting for perfection is the great enemy of the current good.” And we can do a lot of good with our pretty darn good flu vaccine if we give it to as many people as possible.”
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