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Should flu shots be optional or required?

By Darien Velasquez
Ingham County Chronicle

Ingham County – Ingham County parents are choosing to opt out of vaccinating themselves and their children especially. Why? Vaccination cases linked to autism have increased dramatically within the past few years. The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses common during the winter. With vaccines readily available at places like Walmart and CVS, why are parents avoiding the flu shot? According to Sparrow Hospital, the number one reason parents are not vaccinating their children is because of the vaccine and autism controversy. With fewer vaccinated children, the absences in schools have gone up drastically.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccinations are very safe and effective and by getting a child vaccinated you can save that child’s life. Vaccinations do not only protect the children but they also protect the people around them. Local daycares like Happy Elephant strongly encourage vaccinations for the prevention of flu and germ spreading.

According to the Michigan Department of Community Health, 46 percent of children between the ages of 6 months and 17 years have received the influenza vaccination in the past year while 30 percent of adults between 18 and 49 have received the influenza vaccination.

Local mother Jennie Honey was asked how she felt about vaccinating her children she said,
“My daughter was not vaccinated for the school year and she ended up getting the flu and missing two weeks of school, I’m not sure if that’s why, but it’s got to mean something.”

One tip to help keep healthy this season is to get vaccinated. There are several flu vaccine options available this year. Keeping healthy also means avoiding close contact with other sick people, wash your hands, avoid touching eyes and mouth, and keep your work and living spaces clean and disinfected to help prevent the spread of germs.

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