Get a Flu Shot, Dammit


Get a Flu Shot, Dammit

Last week I visited my doctor for a scheduled check up. The receptionist asked me if I wanted a flu shot. I said yes. The tech that walked me to the examining room asked if I wanted a flu shot. I said yes. The doc’s assistant asked if I wanted a flu shot. I said yes. The doctor asked if I wanted a flu shot. I said yes. I got a flu shot.

As I was leaving I told the doctor that a dear friend died of complications of the flu and had refused to take a flu shot. He asked me to make that into a poster so he could hang it in his waiting room. I will do so.

Some people don’t get flu shots. They are lazy, don’t have time, are afraid of needles, think it will give them the flu, is expensive, there are hundreds of flu viruses, or ”I don’t get vaccinations because they don’t work.”

Let’s take these one at a time:

  • Lazy, don’t have time – if you have time to go to the supermarket (most have pharmacies) or to the drug store, or to K mart, or Target or anywhere there is a pharmacy, you have time to get a flu shot. Most all pharmacies give them.
  • I’m afraid of needles – They hurt. The new needles are so fine, you barely feel them. Get a flu shot.
  • It will give me the flu. Nope the current generation of flu shots have no live viruses. They pump up your immune system. While your immune system is revving up, you may get mild symptoms – aches, maybe a low fever. But it will be gone in a day or so. Revel in the care your partner will give you, you will love it.
  • It’s expensive – if you have health insurance of any kind, it will cost you nothing. If not, prepare to pay $20-$40. Some places charge as much as $75. Shop around. If you have ever had the flu, compare it to that price.
  • There are hundreds of strains of flu – the shot only protects against three or four. Actually, there are hundreds of viruses – like the common cold, that cause flu like symptoms but aren’t the flu.
  • Vaccinations don’t work. When was the last time you even heard of someone having polio, or smallpox, or measles, or mumps, or, whooping cough? The flu vaccine works about half the time. Most of the rest have reduced symptoms.

I’m no expert – I got all these answers from good ole common sense and a perusal of Google. Check with your doctor.

BTY – if you are getting on in years, go ahead a get a pneumonia shot and one for shingles. Its harder to fight off pneumonia and shingles sounds like a ‘funny’ disease, but it can be miserable.

When I went to the pharmacy to fill a script, the pharmacist asked if I wanted a flu shot. I told her I got one at the doctor’s, she said I should have waited and got one from her as it came with a free ice cream cone. I’m going to recommend to my doc to put in a freezer.


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John Van Horn

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