Thursday, October 16, 2014

Why I got a flu shot this year

My pharmacist was a great shot giver--no pain!
Medicines tend to make me queasy or sick--I think of myself as hypersensitive. Plus, I don't drive. So some years, I have not ended up getting a flu shot, even though I never got sick from one..

Yet--infectious diseases are on the national menu this year. Ebola, D68--yes, the former is only a couple of cases, but if there are more, they will go to ERs and doctors. I want to stay out of those waiting rooms--which for the most part, will be full of flu patients.

One year, I was sick with a paralyzed intestine and everyone else had flu. Flu, flu, flu. The shot in 2012-13 prevented 79,000 hospitalizations--but 381,000 American were hospitalized anyhow. Nasty stuff.

Still, perversely, I hear people say people coming across the border are bringing disease and then in the same breath, they say THEY would never get a flu shot, that the shots CAUSE flu, why their Aunt Jane...etc...all while mad at border crossers for not being vaccinated.

Anyone who does not get the shot is depending on those who do to make enough people less likely to get the flu that they will be protected in the process. It's called "herd immunity"--vaccinating enough people to head of huge outbreaks.

If you are over six months old, you can get it. Most insurance will pay. Older people are advised to get a stronger shot--ask your provider.

Oh--and that provider may be your phamacist--no doctor appt needed.

You are in no danger of getting Ebola, but could get the flu and then pass it on. Think about not doing that. It's not a sure thing. But what is? .

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