Health & Fitness

Get out and get vaccinated!

The 1985 movie “Clue” came with three different endings — all plausible solutions to its murder mystery, yet each theater offered moviegoers only one of them. (The DVD included all three, noting on screen, “This is how it COULD have happened.”) That’s a lot different from real life, in which you rarely get to know the various reasons something mysterious happens. But recently, researchers in America and Germany decided to figure out the different reasons people have to postpone or refuse vaccinations.

Turns out that most of you who are shot-shy aren’t so much anti-vaccine as you are just, well, complacent (no one around you EVER got diphtheria, so why get a vaccine?). You say it’s inconvenient to get the shot (you’re pressed for time; you don’t have a primary-care physician); or you don’t have confidence that vaccines really work (you haven’t lived in a time when the diseases they prevent were a scourge). But your procrastination has a price: To protect everyone, it takes at least 96 percent vaccination compliance to prevent a measles outbreak, for example, and 97 percent to block a mumps outbreak.

So, if you’ve put off getting your kids or yourself vaccinated because it doesn’t seem very important, think again. And here’s our clue for a happy ending: In most states, most major chain drug stores, like Walgreens, and Affordable Care Act insurers provide low-cost and/or free vaccines. Ask your local pharmacist for information, call your state’s department of health or go online and Google “[Your state] free vaccines.”

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit sharecare.com.

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