10/24/2004

Are athletes at risk?

Everybody knows there is a shortage of flu shots. Those with the greatest risk should be first in line at getting a flu shot. There are lines everywhere across America for them. People are even crossing into Canada in order to obtain a flu shot. But who are the ones with the greatest risk?

Just last week, my teammates and I were to get flu shots here at SUU. Is it fair to give flu shots to athletes just because they are athletes when there is a shortage? Aren't athletes labeled as healthy? Why should athletes be getting flu shots when pregnant women, the elderly, and other people need them more?

I had teammates complain because they had to get a shot. This one shot they had could have been given to another person and in turn save their life. Instead my teammate complains because her shoulder hurts where they poked her. Is this right? Should we really be giving flu shots to athletes who complain about them instead of giving them to someone who needs it?

9 comments:

Taber Wolrab said...

I agree totally! Why are we making sure that the healthy athletes are getting flu shots? It doesn't make sense to me. There are elderly people dying in line for flu shots, shouldn't they get the shot? If the team is complaining about having a shot, don't give it to them, save it for someone who really needs it, or cares that they get it.

peter_parker said...

I agree. Isn't the objective of a flu shot to help those who are susceptible to the flu and have a hard time coping with it? Athletes should be conditioned enough to go with out one. I know lots of people who are more active than an elderly person but who aren't condition athletes and they do well enough without a flu shot. This is kind of ridiculous. Does it have anything to do with the potential of monetary compensation for the teams' success? I know schools get millions of dollars if their football team goes to a bowl game.

I guess the old saying still goes: Jocks get all the chics and the flu shots.

Julie said...

It kind of surprised me to hear that athletes are getting flu shots when there is such a shortage. I wonder if Peter Parker is right and money is behind the decision. I hope not. Losing an important basketball or football game because a star athlete has the flu doesn't compare with losing a life.

Bryce Larkin said...

I would think that most athletes would be in great physical shape and would not need the flu shot. On the other hand, anyone and get sick from the flu, but athletes probably could recover faster because of their great health.

Bryce Larkin said...

I also agree with the rest of the comments that the elderly and the sick should get the flu shots first, and then anyone else should be able to get them. These athletes do not need them as bad as others.

Bruce Banner said...

I agree if an athele does not want a flu shot he/she should not have to receive one and let their shot be used for someone else that needs one. On the other hand, don't the universities invest alot of money into these athletes and if one or more atheletes become sick because of he or she did not receive a shot could affect the teams performance and lose games?

John West said...

As far as athletes getting flu shots, is anyone aware that although we are in the middle of a major vaccine shortage that many Chicago Bulls players selflishly received flu shots and did not feel bad doing so. They cited the fact that they are continually traveling and needed it. On the other side, many Chicago Bears players turned down the shot citing that they are healthy and that someone else should recieve it that needed it more.

Maudi said...

I believe that if you or any of your teammates didn't want the shot, then you shouldn't have been forced to have one. You are absolutley right! Athletes have physicals all the team to make sure that they are healthy enough to endure the physical activity required in their sport of interest. If your physician says that your healthy then why would you get a flu shot before a small child that needs it??

Dr. Tufte said...

This is what economists call non-price rationing. It isn't very pretty (remember hearing about that when you learned about price ceilings?).

Here's a good one. My kids are at risk (they both have already had pneumonia this year). So that puts my wife and I on the list for a recommended shot. Here's the punch line - I'm the only one of us that can get the shot at SUU. I am the healthiest of the four of us, and I will get the shot first while the others wait.

BTW: My guess is that athletes get flu shots as a public health move. The key to containing any contagious disease is to keep the people who move from place to place from taking it with them. The public health people will even tell you that if they could get "the public" out of the decision making process that they could nip most outbreaks in the bud by vaccinating the right 20% of the population.