The flu this year is particularly nasty. I know, I came down with a case of it last week. My whole family did, and it was ugly. Luckily, everyone in the family who could get a flu shot did — medical professionals all over the country advise that the shot can still protect from the worst effects even if you do get sick.
Fox and Friends had Dr. Marc Siegel on as a guest Monday to spread the good word about the flu shot: “The flu shot, which I still say everybody out there should get, is about 30-percent effective, but it actually decreases spread around the household, it decreases severity, and it’s very smart to get it,” Siegel noted. “Of the children that have died, 80 percent of them in the past hadn’t gotten a flu shot.”
But co-host Brian Kilmeade appeared to feel differently.
Kilmeade hadn’t gotten a flu shot, and when Dr. Siegel noted that Kilmeade needed to protect his daughters, Kilmeade replied: “Right, but they’ve got to build up their immunity, too.”
Well, that’s actually how flu shots work.
Immunizations give the immune system a weakened strain of the disease to spur the body to produce antibodies. That’s something that can’t be done short of catching the disease in the first place — and since this strain of flu is ugly enough to kill people, that’s probably not something you want to try.
Kilmeade is making a typical anti-vaccination argument, one that can give ammunition to those who believe all sorts of false talking points about the more important vaccinations.
I’m a “do what you want as long as you hurt no one else” kind of guy, except when it comes to immunizations. Part of the way they work is by creating herd immunity for people with compromised immune systems; people such as organ transplant patients with compromised immune systems to avoid having their bodies reject an organ. Those people are vulnerable, and when you don’t immunize, you risk their lives as well.
Kilmeade’s comments are dangerous for many Americans.