LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) -Flu season is in full force, and health officials are concerned that too many people are refusing to get vaccinated.
Flu season lasts from October to May, and doctors want people to know that getting vaccinated should be a priority.
“I’m concerned that a lot of people have lost faith in the influenza vaccine,” said Dr. Richard Brittingham. “I’m here to say that the flu vaccine is probably 40% effective, but 40% is better than none.”
In 2018, there were over 65 flu related deaths in Oklahoma. Brittingham says it’s important to know the symptoms.
“It’s like one minute you’re fine and the next you’re sick,” said Brittingham. “High fevers, muscle aches, headache, sore throat, lymph nodes, just pain all over.”
He says there seems to be an anti-vaccination sentiment across the country.
“People are thinking that the vaccine will make them sick,” said Brittingham. “If I hear it again, that I got the flu from the flu vaccine...You can’t get the flu from the flu vaccine. You can get flu like symptoms from the flu vaccine. But they’re just symptoms. You can’t compare that to influenza.”
He says getting vaccinated isn’t just for yourself, it’s for the whole population.
“There’s this concept of herd immunity,” said Brittingham. “You want to get the most people vaccinated that you can so it does not become a pandemic which could happen. Which did happen just a hundred years ago.”
He says besides getting the flu vaccine, washing your hands, and staying away from sick people are also ways to help prevent yourself from getting the flu.