Nov 5, 2014 — From the fear of needles to government conspiracy theories, some people are opposed to getting a flu shot. Dr. Susan Terry explains why the thoroughly tested flu vaccine is safe, virtually painless and very effective in controlling the spread of influenza.

Interview

Announcer: Medical news and research from University Utah physicians and specialists you can use for a happier and healthier life. You're listening to The Scope.

Interviewer: Dr. Terry, why is it that some people seem to be so freaked out about flu vaccines? It seems like there is a movement. Is it a small movement, a large movement? I don't know. They think there is a conspiracy theory or we shouldn't get them, or something of that nature. What is going on with that?

Dr. Terry: Well, my personal opinion is that most of those people are afraid of shots.

Interviewer: They'll do anything.

Dr. Terry: They will use any excuse not to get stuck with a needle. The flu vaccine is given with tiny, tiny little needle. You can barely feel it when it goes in. It's not really a good reason not to get a flu shot. I think there are many people who have been conditioned through their lives to avoid needles. There are some people who have religious objections and, of course, we want to be respectful of that. But we now have evidence that for people who are allergic to eggs, whom we've always said they shouldn't get an egg based vaccine, we're finding there are ways to help them get through that and be able to get a flu vaccine.

Interviewer: I probably did one of the worst things I could possibly do. I went on the internet.

Dr. Terry: Oh, no.

Interviewer: Yeah, and I did a little reading on the flu vaccine and there are some people out there that talk about all the other bad things that are in them. Could you elaborate on what they seem to be concerned about?

Dr. Terry: They're probably concerned about some of the things that we use as a base, for example, for the flu vaccine, preservatives that are placed in the flu vaccine. But because there has been over the years such an uproar over the danger of the flu vaccine, all those things have been studied and been found to be really benign and safe and really not the issue.

Interviewer: So the medical community is not trying to hide anything from anybody.

Dr. Terry: No, not at all, not at all.

Interviewer: And you would have no problem getting a flu shot yourself.

Dr. Terry: I already had mine this year.

Interviewer: Or giving it to your kids.

Dr. Terry: My husband has had his and I hope the grown up kids have had theirs.

Interviewer: So I should rest at ease is what you're telling me.

Dr. Terry: Yes, rest at ease right after you get your flu shot.

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