Quiz: Pros and Cons of Flu Shots | The Survival Doctor

Photo by sylvar on Flickr.

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

It’s as predicable as the change of the season. Come cold weather, you begin to see dire forecasts of the worst flu season.

Will millions die this year? Who knows? It’s kind of like the usual pre-hurricane warnings. Many times they’re wrong, but if they’re right and you don’t heed them, it can be the last decision, or indecision, you ever make.

I think anyone who’s worth his/her salt in preparing for disasters should take a serious look at flu shots. Know the facts. Like, how effective are flu shots? What are the alternatives? What are the downsides?

After you gather the facts, and if you think it’s worth it, get immunized. If you think the risks outweigh the benefits, prepare accordingly. But remember, one of these days, those forecasts are going to be right.

Even on an average year in the U.S., over 200,000 people are hospitalized and tens of thousands die from complications of influenza. So don’t just let it slide. Make an informed decision.

Here’s a true/false quiz, and I’ll bet you don’t get them all right. If you get them all, maybe I’ll have you write my blog posts from now on. I’ll go on an expedition to the South Pole. I hear they don’t have much flu there. By the way, it’s okay to look at the answers. That’s how you learn.

A special note to you who don’t get the flu shot because it contains the mercury preservative thimerosal (even though every study and mainstream medical organization says it causes you and your child no harm): at least read the first question and answer. Please? Then you can stop.

>> Take the quiz