My next assignment was to create a one paragraph (9-12 sentences) summary of a controversy which takes place in my community or society.
I chose flu shots. I believe I may have lost marks on this one due to my position not defending the compliance of receiving flu shots, but I’m not sure. I believe I stayed quite neutral, as I was supposed to.
But I’ll let you be the judge.
The Flu Shot Divide
The subject of flu shots, and whether or not to get one, comes up each year, and while there is not a large uprising there is a clear divide on the subject of whether or not each citizen should receive their inoculation.
Those who endorse full compliance express that flu shots prevent a large portion of the population from getting infected with the influenza virus, which affects tens of thousands of people each year, and is the cause of between 3,000 and 49,000 deaths per year (CDC). The main argument is that with full compliance, less people will fall ill, lessening the likelihood that the virus will spread. This would limit the frequency of infection and as a by-product lessen potential serious side-effects such as hospitalization and death.
Conversely, flu shots opponents state that the statistics used by the media and healthcare providers on influenza infections, hospitalization, and deaths are greatly overstated. Often these published statistics include other flu-like infections, pneumonia infections, as well as anyone “who died of a heart and lung problem” (qtd in Kelly Crowe). Opponents argue that since the statistics are so inaccurate, there is no hard data proving the efficacy of the flu shot. They also state that injecting the serum into the body near the beginning of, or during, flu season may actually decrease the body’s ability to fight off any antigens the body is exposed to naturally. This theory comes from the idea that if the body is busy creating the antibodies from the flu shot, it will be less likely to be capable of catching any antigens that attack through daily, natural exposure.
The difference in opinion can lead to a great deal of conflict in professional and social circles, with each side being lead both by their own research as well as the powerful emotional beliefs behind the choice. While there will likely always be a passionate division between flu shot supporters and opponents, it remains important that each person do their own research and make the best choice for their own health rather than judging those who choose a different path.
Centre for Disease Control. “Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine.” Centre for Disease Control. 16 Jan. 2013. Web. 21 Feb. 2013 <http://cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm>
Crowe, Kelly. “Flu Deaths Reality Check.” CBC News. CBC News. 25 Nov. 2012. Web. 21 Feb. 2013.