Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.
Mandated vaccinations are one of the most debated topics in today’s society. There are many pros and cons for vaccines. Some would argue that there are harmful ingredients in vaccines, causing genetic issues such as autism. Others would also reason that the government should stay out of health affairs. However, according to The American Academy of Pediatrics, “most childhood vaccines are 90-99 percent effective in preventing disease.”
This begs the question – should vaccinations be required for all American citizens and should there be a greater emphasis on the importance of hygiene? My answer is yes, for a few key reasons.
For one, vaccines have eliminated smallpox, a disease that killed around 300 million people in the 20th century (BBC). Now, we rely on vaccines to get rid of diseases such as tetanus and measles. This allows for an individual to stay healthy and it also ensures for the protection of the community.
With Influenza Type A rampaging throughout the entirety of the United States, many people are worried that they too will get hit by the flu. Around 40,000 Americans have died from the flu during the third week of 2018, and the numbers are only expected to rise (Fortune.com).
According to Time Magazine, flu vaccines are reanalyzed and updated every year to target the specific epidemic disease. The CDC, (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), states that the new vaccine will eliminate 30 percent of Influenza Type A (H3) for 2018.
Getting vaccinated and maintaining proper hygiene is crucial in protecting yourself against the flu and other diseases. Being around large groups of people increases your likelihood of getting ill, so it is imperative that you take the necessary procedures in order to keep yourself healthy.
First, make sure you wash your hands for around 20 seconds. Also, don’t touch your nose, mouth, and eyes often. These are places that are prone to letting bacteria in. If by chance you do become sick, stay home and rest. In addition, try to minimalize physical contact with peers, so you don’t get them sick as well.
It is also important to note that the nurse’s office at the university is giving free flu shots while supplies last, due to the influx of influenza cases on campus. If you feel like you’re coming down with the flu, it is important that you get checked out. This is critical in keeping yourself, and others, safe from diseases and illnesses.
The university’s website states that “UMHB student nurses who have satisfied certain academic and clinical requirements may assist with flu shots periodically. You may avail yourself of this service, or if you prefer, you can receive your flu shot directly from Nurse Debbie. It is recommended that you stay for 20 minutes after receiving the flu vaccine, especially if you are a first-time recipient” (UMHB.edu).
The nurse’s office is on the third floor of Mabee Student Success Center. According to the universities website, you can call to make an appointment at (254) 295 – 4969.