Health officials reccomend flu shot, despite ineffective yearMonday, February 09, 2009 By Barbara Olbrichova, Staff Writer
Health experts advocate the flu shot this year for about 90 percent of Americans. In the past the shots were not recommended for most. And they were ruled ineffective last year because scientists incorrectly predicted which strand of the flu would be prominent that year. They were only prepared to deal with the anticipated virus. "I highly recommend the flu shot," school nurse Laura Youmans said. "They are effective and give immunity to the flu virus." The shot should decrease the chance of getting the flu virus by 70 to 80 percent this year, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It will not, however, protect against any other sicknesses. The Nighthawk News did a random student survey during Empower Hour and found that the majority of students who have received the flu shot ruled it effective. "I got the flu shot in sixth or seventh grade," freshman Derrick Lackore said. "I haven’t had the flu since." Most students are not planning to get the flu shot because they have successfully avoided the flu virus without it. According to Youmans, there have been a lot of flu-like symptoms this year. Still, students are not motivated to get vaccinated unless they have gotten the flu. "(The flu shot) has worked a lot, it only failed once when I was six and last year," freshman Tyler Prewett said. The flu shot is recommended for children from nine months through 19 years of age, pregnant women and adults 50 years and older. Vaccinations are available at the Baum Center, but a doctor should be contacted before the shot is given. Anyone who is allergic to eggs or egg products should not receive the shot, since egg whites are used as the base for the vaccination.