Alarm over the flu rate is leading local students to seek vaccination.
The flu is becoming increasingly prevalent throughout the winter months. There are already almost more reports of deaths caused by the flu compared to last year’s total death count, even though this year’s season has yet to peak.
According to the Los Angeles Times, flu deaths in California spiked to 147 at the end of January, with a third of those deaths occurring in the last week of the month.
“I am simply horrified,” said Julie Yi, a sophomore at North Hollywood High School. “I simply thought the flu to be something trivial, not as something so dangerous.”
However, the main factor for why so many of these people died was that they did not receive vaccinations. According to WebMD, the biggest reasons as to why people don’t get vaccines are that either they think too lightly of the flu or they fear they will contract the flu from the vaccine itself.
Yet Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said at a news conference that the price of not getting vaccinated can be terrible.
“Actually, on average,” Dr. Frieden said, “flu is not a mild illness. For too many people, it ends up sending them to the hospital or to the intensive care unit… it’s no picnic.”
“I encourage everyone who has not yet gotten a flu vaccination to do so,” Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health to Lake County News.
According to local student Se Rin Lee, the message is getting across.
“I don’t enjoy taking vaccinations… (but) hearing news about so many people dying because of the flu makes me change my mind about vaccinations to ensure my safety and health,” Lee, a freshman at Van Nuys High School, said.