Just as the flu season gets into full swing, anti-vaccination billboards have been popping up in several states.
The billboards warn the son of a UFC fighter died after getting a vaccine, though the medical examiner ruled it was sudden infant death syndrome.
Health officials call it an uphill battle that has taken away resources to fight other diseases.
“Once these ideas go out there, it's like we can't get rid of them. Going between vaccination and autism, we spent unfortunately probably like a billion dollars trying to prove it negative,” says Kirstin Matthews, fellow in science and technology policy in the Center for Health and Biosciences at Rice University's Baker Institute.
“There are all these opportunities where we could start curbing polio, but because of all these hesitancies they find on these websites and these random locations, some of our efforts are being hindered trying to actually eradicate that one as well.”
The consequences far outweigh any reason not to get the vaccine.
“Even if it's not going to be 100 percent effective, it still actually reduces your risk significantly, and if you actually do get the flu,the flu itself is less severe than if you didn't have the vaccination,” says Matthews.
Vaccines not only protect you, she says, but everyone you come in contact on a daily basis.