On 12/29, the Washington Post had an impassioned article by David Ropeik, an instructor at Harvard, on Americans’ continued resistance to vaccinations. He notes that parental refusal to allow children to receive measles or pertussis (whooping cough) vaccines is causing the sickness (and, occasionally, the tragic death) of hundreds of kids each year. But, he emphasizes, this pales in comparison to influenza.
Flu hits 200,000 Americans each year, including 20,000 children under age 5. The disease kills thousands and costs us billions of dollars every year. What infuriates author Ropeik most is that we could easily reduce this damage if more people got flu shots. He states: “Herd immunity for flu — which means enough people are vaccinated so that if one person gets sick, the disease can’t spread — would be achieved if roughly 80 percent of us were inoculated. There isn’t a single age group that meets those targets.”
The vaccines are available, Ropeik notes, and easily accessible – we just need to take the time. Read the whole article here.