Influenza can be a killer, but some refuse to get vaccinated

An estimated 80,000 Americans died after bouts of influenza during the 2017–18 season, CDC reports, compared with anywhere from 12,000–56,000 deaths during previous cycles. The most effective way to avoid becoming part of those statistics is to get vaccinated, yet fewer than one-half of the country's residents do so.

An estimated 80,000 Americans died after bouts of influenza during the 2017–18 season, CDC reports, compared with anywhere from 12,000–56,000 deaths during previous cycles. The most effective way to avoid becoming part of those statistics is to get vaccinated, yet fewer than one-half of the country's residents do so. According to a Rand Corp. survey, many adults believe immunization against influenza is unnecessary for them. Some assume their general good health will do enough to protect them, while others worry about getting sick from the vaccine itself—although the science demonstrates otherwise. Influenza vaccine is made from inactivated virus, not live virus; therefore, CDC says, getting influenza from the vaccine is impossible. Skeptics should consider CDC statistics showing that about 80% of children who die from influenza are not vaccinated. Giving an infected child the vaccine, however, can lower his or her mortality risk by 65%.