GREATER LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The flu season has already turned deadly in Indiana. But it's not too late to get vaccinated.
Indiana has already seen 14 flu-related deaths. The worst part? Flu season still has months left to go.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that more than half the population hasn't been vaccinated. While the number has increased from last year, it's still not enough.
“We actually had a slower start to the flu season this year compared to last year but just this last week cases have been rising across the U.S. and in Indiana,” said Professor Libby Richards with Purdue's School of Nursing.
Richards said nearly 336 people in Indiana died from the flu in 2018. As we're in the midst of flu season, she said flu shots are more important now than ever.
“It's not too late to get a flu vaccine, they're readily available in all areas of our community and the good news is, getting the flu vaccine not only protects you but it protects others in our community who aren't able to become vaccinated, such as babies,” said Richards.
Vaccinating children has become a major controversy in recent years but Richards said there really isn't an argument.
“Vaccines are safe, they undergo very rigorous testing and continued testing so we know vaccines do not cause adverse outcomes for the majority, the large majority of the population,” said Richards.
Richards said people who chose not to get vaccinated are actually a major cause of the recent measles outbreak happening across the U.S. currently.
“A large majority of the people who have gotten measles this season have been unvaccinated,” Richards.
There haven't been any reports of a measles outbreak in Indiana yet, but it could happen without proper vaccination.
“Measles is so contagious that if one person has measles in a highly unvaccinated population they will infect up to 90% of people that they're in contact with,” said Richards.
Richards said that achy feeling people often get after a shot is actually normal. It's your body gaining immunity to the vaccination.