The numbers just do not make a convincing case, for me.
The number of people who get the flu is 5-20% (CDC) However, the flu shot does not offer protection against all types of flu - your chance of getting one of the strains the flu shot covers is about 4% (Cochrane)
So, most years you will not get the flu that is covered by the flu shots.
The flu is not fun, but for the vast majority of people it is not deadly.
I am not willing to get a shot every year over a disease I have a reasonably low chance of getting, and an excellent chance of surviving with complete recovery should I get it. Some of it is because I do not want to haul my butt to the doctors every year over the slight possibility I will get the flu, but another part is no shot is without risks, and having to "risk it" yearly does not sit well with me.
I truly believe I had the flu last year. It was at the peak of flu season and I had all the signs. This is the only time in my life I am pretty sure I had the flu. I missed a small amount of work, felt like I had been hit by a mack truck…..and was ultimately fine. It did not make me revisit my decision.
If you are on the fence, here are a few thoughts:
-having other conditions (asthma comes to mind) might push some towards vaxxing
-I imagine kids in daycare are slightly more prone to the flu than kids not in daycare
-the flu vaccine is less effective in some age groups, and I think under 2 is one of them
-Cochrane says that inactivated flu vaccines (the only kind available to the under 2's) is ineffective:
" In children under the age of two, the efficacy of inactivated vaccine was similar to placebo"
Edited by kathymuggle - 12/26/12 at 6:50pm