Less than half of Americans get the flu shot, these are some of the reasons

Health Check

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Less than half of Americans received the flu shot during the 2018-2019 flu season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With flu season upon us, KSNT News looked at why some people decide not to receive the vaccine.

“People should have full knowledge, there should be no medical experimentation without full knowledge,” said Connie Newcome, president of Kansans for Health Freedom. “You should be able to decline or accept it without any problems.”

Kansans for Health Freedom believe people should have a choice for their medical care, including whether to get vaccinated.

Newcome said it bothers her that flu shots are encouraged annually and that some employers require it. She also believes the shot is not the best way to prevent the flu.

“Let our child’s immune system build itself up by fighting the problem,” Newcome said. “That is so important. When we cripple them with fever reducers and medications, we’re preparing them for a life of greater health problems.”

However, the CDC encourages everyone six months and older to receive a flu shot every season, with very rare exceptions, to prevent getting influenza.

“The flu, for most people, will be a really bad cold. Then for the random person, they can get really sick, they can get hospitalized and die,” said Dr. Waco Goodnight, a pediatrician with Panda Pediatrics in Lawrence. “There gets to be this hesitancy and this complacency that, like ‘Oh, I don’t need to get it, I’m okay,’ but it literally can get anyone. It’s a pretty scary disease and it’s worth getting the shot.”

Last flu season, the CDC estimated 24,000 to 62,000 people died in the United States from having the flu, amongst 39 million to 56 million cases.

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