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Vaccination & Immunization Message Board

Vaccination & Immunization Board Index

Alexa, people always died of the flu. Substantial numbers, every winter. Most of them are over 60 or under 5, but not all. Remember 1919? 20 milion deaths worldwide, twice the toll of World War One--and that was at a time when the world's population was much smaller, and their were no commercial airlines.

Do you know why I get the flu shot? I come in contact with hundreds of people every day, most of whom come in contact with hundreds more. I've studied network theory, and when a certain percentage of the population is immune, the probability of an epidemic goes wayyy down. And the effects can be detected with immunity levels as low as ten percent.

I'm not protecting me. I've got good lungs, I'll live. Sure, I'll feel like roadkill for a week or so, but I'll be fine. I'm protecting my grandmother, my colleague's new baby, my friend with severe asthma, and other vulnerable people I don't even know.

No, it isn't the only option to stay healthy. Frequent and vigorous handwashing is a favorite of mine, highly effective in preventing colds, only moderately effective against the flu. Exercising, eating right, and getting enough sleep are all very helpful as well, and I do them, but there's always going to be that one day when you just couldn't sleep the night before, or you're worried about your mother, or whatever, and your resistance goes down.

If you have a lifestyle like mine, you will get sick from that one day, unless you also handwash, because I always come in contact with sick people. A dozen a day is really light.

I have no objection to your way of staying healthy, and I'm glad it works for you and your daughter. But it's not the only reasonable option.

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