Kayla Pehi
January 12, 2019
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The Flu Vaccine Saves Lives: Child Death Toll Spikes!

In 2019, the flu vaccine saves lives. It’s as simple as that. The flu season of 2018-19 has unfortunately claimed the lives of 56 people so far. At least 10 children under the age of ten have lost their lives; all were unvaccinated. With the resources that are available to us today, children dying of the Influenza virus seems primitive and unnecessary. The particular influenza strain that is in the air this flu season is the H1N1. This same strain of the virus caused the deadly “Spanish-Flu” pandemic over a century ago, as well as the “Swine-Flu” pandemic roughly a decade ago. As responsible members of society, we should all do our part in preventing outbreaks by simply getting the vaccinate. Ensuring that all eligible members of society are protected allows for herd immunity, which minimizes the risk of outbreaks overall.

How the Flu Vaccine Saves Lives

According to the yearly Influenza Weekly Reports from 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19, ten child deaths caused by the flu is the highest death toll we’ve seen in children in a long time. Doctors believe that healthy children are a target for this strain of the flu because they were not alive during the first wave of the Swine-Flu in 2009-10, therefore their systems have not built an immunity to it. The effectiveness of the flu vaccine is particularly high this season, which means that the flu vaccine saves lives with little to no added stress of a sick child.In a very simplified crash course: Most vaccines present a dead or weakened version of the virus to your immune system. This ultimately primes and preps our bodies for future encounters with this virus. It allows our bodies to familiarize itself with the virus and learns how to fight it off. If we do encounter the flu virus after the vaccine, your system already has a memory of this specific virus and knows exactly what to do. Therefore, it learns how to more effectively protect you.Although the flu vaccine is a good way to spare us from sore throats and fevers, other vaccines are lifesaving. This year in particular, the flu vaccine saves lives, particularly in children, especially with the death toll at an all-time high. For a quicker and more official explanation on how vaccines work, you can watch these videos on How Vaccines Work and what Herd Immunity is.

Where the Flu Vaccine Saves Lives

Big pharmaceutical companies in Montreal offer this service, such as Pharmaprix and Jean Coutu. Additionally, any and all CISSS or CIUSSS centres should also provide these services. Simply locate your nearest centre and call to book an appointment or make an appointment online!Did you know that there is an amazing service provided by RN Privée that allows you to receive various vaccines in the comfort of your own home? This removes a lot of the anxiety that your child may have about going to a doctor’s office to be vaccinated. These registered nurses are highly qualified to administer these vaccines, and to find out more about booking an appointment or their other services, be sure to contact them or visit their website!

5 Common Misconceptions about the Flu Vaccine

1. “Flu vaccines cause the flu.”

Actually, no live virus is present in the vaccine that is administered to your body, therefore one cannot catch the flu from the vaccine.

2. “I don’t need to get the vaccine every year.”

In fact, the strains of the flu change from year to year, therefore the immunization updates every year. Unfortunately, immunizing yourself in one year does not guarantee your safety in the following years.

3. “The flu is just a bad cold – nothing serious.”

Unfortunately, the flu can be a serious disease – especially among young children and the elderly. Therefore, it is not as harmless as one might think. Additionally, it is important to realize that failure to immunize yourself puts those around you at risk. Certain people are unable to immunize themselves, so by immunizing yourself, you prevent the disease from spreading unnecessarily.

4. “It is too late in the season to get the vaccine.”

As long as the virus is circulating, it is never too late to get the vaccinate. Although the flu’s peak season is in winter, cases of the flu can remain present as late as May. Therefore, better late than never,

5. “I’m a healthy young adult – I’m safe.”

No, you’re not. The flu does not pick and choose their targets – it just infects as many people as it possibly can. Nothing will keep you safe from the flu other than the flu vaccine, or the flu itself. As previously mentioned, one is much less favourable than the other.To avoid going down a rabbit hole, we did not touch on any of the controversies surrounding vaccines. However, if you are interested in a well researched and informative video, “The Thing About Vaccines” by Doctor Mike on YouTube is a very interesting watch. All of that said, have you read last week's blog post? If you missed it, be sure to get all caught up. We addressed the shocking story of a mom that refused to pay her babysitter! We also provided a quick parenting guide on babysitters in 2019, be sure to check it out here.

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