KERNERSVILLE, N.C. - A child in Alamance County died this week from the flu. The child's death has reignited a debate about flu shots and vaccinations.
Kernersville Primary Care Doctor William S. Kelly has been practicing medicine for the past thirty years. He has seen children die from vaccine preventable diseases. As a result, he adopted a policy for his practice that says, "If you should absolutely refuse to vaccinate your child despite all our efforts, we will ask you to find another health care provider who shares your view." The policy statement is adapted from www.immunize.org.
Dr. Kelly told WFMY News 2, "The vaccines are safe. They're effective. There's no reason, in most cases, for people to refuse these things...These are life-threatening illnesses that can be prevented with vaccines. Sometimes, you just have to stand up and make a point, even if it means losing business."
In 30 years, only one mother has refused. She took her child elsewhere. Doctor Kelly said he strongly encourages flu shots as well for everyone. Again, because he believes they work.
However, there are plenty of people out there who are skeptical about the vaccines like the flu shot.
Alesheia Baccous is not getting a flu shot. She said, "When I don't get a flu shot, I don't have any cold or flu symptoms, not even a cough. So, if I'm healthy and I keep my immune system up, there's really no need to get a flu shot."
Baccous reached out to WFMY News 2 on our Facebook page. We received quite a few responses from you about whether to get a flu shot.
The more recent data available from the state shows half of the people in North Carolina get vaccinated. During this flu season, the state has distributed about 500-thousand doses of the flu shot. In addition, many private practices order their own supplies.
If you feel you or someone you love has become injured or harmed by a vaccine, there is a government program where you can file a claim.
CDC Vaccination Information
NC Vaccination Information