Flu season sparks vaccination debate in Long Island
Start rolling up your sleeves – flu season is here. However, not everyone is lining up to get their shots. While there have been no reports of an H1N1 pandemic since last year, some Long Island residents are still getting their influenza vaccines.
Pattie Glod of Oceanside said, “My kids, husband and I are all getting flu shots. My kids are adopted and I never know what abnormalities they may have in their blood line that could cause catching the flu to lead to something worse. It’s better to be safe than sorry.”
While Glod is making sure her whole family will not catch the flu, residents like Dina Rosas of Elmont aren’t afraid of going through the flu season without a vaccine. Rosas said, “I’m not getting a flu shot. I don’t have a reason to. I’ve never received one before, so I’m not going to start now.”
Health officials like Mi Young Na, pharmacist of East Meadow’s Pathmark, say that it is better to be safe than sorry. “The flu can strike at any time. The benefits of the flu shot out weigh the consequences of not getting one.”
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Na also said that there is a big misconception that the flu shot makes someone get the flu. “It usually is that the person already had the virus in their system and the shot brought out the sickness.”
The World Health Organization declared the H1N1 pandemic over in August 2010. However, that doesn’t mean we’ve seen the last of the virus.
This year’s seasonal vaccine will include the Type A and Type B viruses. Type A is the H1N1 and the H3N2, while Type B is another unnamed virus.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu outbreaks in the U.S. can happen as early as October; however, flu season peaks in January or later.
Many pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens offer free flu shots.