Flu shots

Resident questions the logic of having flu shots every winter

Does the Ministry of Health really think that Canadians are mindless and unable to learn proper disease control habits that are being taught in Third World countries?

Let’s look at the facts. Canadians are being pushed by media, doctors and care facilities to get a flu shot each year. There’s nothing devastatingly wrong with this concept except that it gives most Canadians a false sense of security.

Over the last couple of years, the predictions by the World Health Organization of the strain of flu that would be circulating in our region have turned out to be inaccurate.

Numbers of people were inoculated for a flu strain that never really came, and many people contracted a flu strain that did come. With or without the shot, if the government and health authorities taught us the basic practices to remain safe from sicknesses, many of us would not become sick at all over the winter.

So the flu virus is the fear and talk of our country. People line up for their free flu shot, and if they don’t qualify for free, they pay, in the hope of being kept healthy for the winter. But what the media and health professionals are not telling us is that the flu virus is one of the weakest of airborne sicknesses. It can only live an average life of three minutes on most surfaces. Harder surfaces such as doorknobs and tables render it to live longer, though.

And, of course, it lives and thrives on human surfaces such as our hands. When we cough or sneeze, we spray out the virus into the air up to five feet around us. Yes, flu can be easily contracted if we do not know how to properly wash our hands and the surfaces around us, and if we refuse to cough or sneeze into our sleeve instead of our hands!

In countries where taxpayers and governments cannot afford to pay the millions of dollars to immunize the majority of its people against three weak strains of sicknesses that do not even rank on the list of most deadly diseases, they rely on teaching proper hygiene practices.

Don’t you think that by us getting our yearly flu shot, we are keeping the multimillion-dollar industry thriving based off of scare tactics to keep our dollars feeding it? Is it working to keep us and our loved ones healthy when it may not even be the accurate strain for our region?

Proper technique in hand washing, washing our doorknobs and common surfaces such as tables and bathrooms, as well as sneezing into our sleeve, is still the most effective way to keep ourselves and others healthy.

And let’s not forget to stay away from people when we are sick! Too easy? It’s even easier on the taxpayers. After all, don’t you and I pay for those free flu shots every year in our taxes?

Kristine Philibert