The Flu Shot. Should I do it this year?

Question: Do you get a flu shot? If you don't, have you ever had one in the past?

When I was a teacher, our job offered flu shots (sometimes for free) to all school employees. In those six years, I never elected to get a flu shot. And in those six years, I only had a bad case of the flu twice (as in, it knocked me on my ass for more than a day). It seemed every year I would get a cold, complete with plugged sinus', a cough, and watery eyes - but that was to be expected, because even if I got the flu shot, it doesn't cover colds! {So many people think that the flu shot will cover the common cold. Not so much.}

Now that I am not working in a place where the flu shot is pushed on me offered to me, for some reason I feel like I should consider it. Not get it - but consider it a bit more.

Is that weird? You know, once I am not surrounded by the mentality that flu shots are God's gift to preventative care, that I find myself considering the pro's and con's more carefully.

I think it's weird, but I am weird. I guess it's fitting.



...

I did some research on the flu vaccine, and here are some pro's and con's that I've found:

BENEFITS OF THE FLU VACCINE

1. Prevention - like a vaccine - is key to avoiding the flu.
2. A flu vaccine reduces upper respiratory illnesses by 25%, and corresponding doctor visits by 44%, which could save you time and money.
3. The CDC recommends everyone over the age of 6 months get the vaccine (no kiddin'...). They say that is can protect 7 out of 10 people who get the vaccine, although some studies say only about 59% of those who are vaccinated are protected.
4. The vaccine comes in a nasal spray version, so you don't need to get a shot.
5. Insurance often covers the majority of the cost, since it's a preventative measure, and many times they are offered for free at your place of employment.

DOWNFALLS OF THE FLU VACCINE

1. You can still get the flu, because at most, they are 70% effective.
2. You're not immediately immune to the flu. It takes about 2 weeks to kick in.
3. Those who are vaccinated might feel like crap for a day or two after getting the vaccine.
4. Some people who get the vaccine have allergic reactions.
5. The flu vaccine contains mercury, which is very toxic to the brain and can be linked to brain-related disorders, like dementia, ADD, memory loss, and Alzheimer's.
6. According to immunogeneticivts, if a person gets fie consecutive flu vaccines, their risk of Alzheimer's is 10 times higher.

...

Here's my decision:
I'm not getting the flu shot, basically for no other reason than I am cheap and don't want to pay for it, and I don't want to get a shot. It stings, people.

Times have changed a tad, however. When I was a kid I don't specifically recall getting the flu vaccine, but I remember getting the normal vaccines that The Man requires for public school - MMR, tetanus, etc. My mother said the flu vaccine wasn't readily available back then, or at least in our rural part of the state, and only the elderly received them.

She also said that we were really healthy children, and got sick mainly in grade school when we had especially close contact with our classmates. The common cold was what we usually came home with.

"When I was a kid, you had to have immunizations to attend school, which was a major preventative measure," my mom added. "They did these right at school, and did them at the school when you guys were kids too."


Now that I think of it, I do remember getting a tetanus shot, or something, in the principal's office when I was little. I remember waiting in a long line with my classmates after lunch, none of us knowing what was waiting for us behind the principal's door. It felt like I was livestock at a slaughterhouse. Ha!

My parents were pretty big on preventative measures to keep us healthy. We got lots of sleep, ate very healthy {mostly whole foods, produce grown on our farm, beef and pork from the farm}, and had an active lifestyle. We were not sedentary kids, that's for sure.

When we were sick, according to my mother, she followed the BRAT diet, and used other tried-and-true methods to get a person well. She would use the same traditional methods for getting us well as her parents and my dad's parents used. Mainly, she said, she used whole foods and a nutritious diet to get us well.

She also said, "When you were little those electrolyte drinks came out, and I might have used those when you were dehydrated, but I don’t remember. I never had to take you guys to the doctor because you were really sick, though."


"I heard someone say that kids now that are introduced to a variety of foods - especially whole foods - your child is less likely to get allergies," she added. "The more processed foods you give your children in their formative years, the more likely they will have allergies."

Seems about right, doesn't it? 


What about John's decision? (I posted on Facebook that you might be surprised with his decision...) Well, he doesn't want to get the flu shot either. But not because he's cheap or hates shots. He's lazy and doesn't want to go to the doctor. And he's a bit of a weirdo (as well!) and refuses to go to a big box store for a vaccine. I'll admit, it does seem odd to me that you can get a vaccine at the same place you buy your potatoes, garden rake, and underwear.

What about you? Are you getting a flu shot? Did you already get one? What factors influenced your choice?
(I know you're all pretty strong in your opinions. That's awesome! But be nice to each other.)




8 comments:

  1. I got the flu shot this year and have been for a few years but mainly because they push it on you when you're pregnant which i was at the time and also because my son has lung problems and I'm pretty much guilt tripped when i go to the dr about possibly getting him sick if i don't. I think i got them when i was little but in my teen years i never got them and never got sick either. Flu shots are a funny thing I feel like if you're on top of your hand washing and tissue using and don't hang with too many crowds you can make it out alive with out getting them.

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    1. I can COMPLETELY sympathize with feeling pressured or guilted into getting the vaccine. What makes it worse, for me at least, is then I didn't feel confident in standing up for myself because I didn't feel knowledgeable enough to decline.

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  2. When I was working, my employer offered them for free for employees and spouses. We got them. I was helping take care of my elderly folks, one of them in a nursing home and didn't want to give it to them or get it. Now I'm not working but we went to Walgreens and got them. Took 10 minutes. Our insurance covered or reduced the price by almost 50%, and we could hardly feel the needle and had very little soreness. Not really a right or wrong decision. We haven't been sick for years, flu shot? or washing hands? or luck?

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    1. Agreed - "no right or wrong decision". I think we all need to do what's 'right' for us and our particular situations. And, in terms of being healthy, I think LUCK does play a huge part, lol!

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  3. I haven't gotten the flu shot for almost six years and I've gotten sick less than when I did get it every year. There were a couple times I got sick to the point of running a temperature but it only lasted about 24 hours. I feel like I can deal with that.

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    1. "I can deal with that." - great statement. I think I live like that, in a way, too.

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  4. I got the flu shot one time, seven years ago. I've also only had the flu once, also seven years ago. I don't know if the two went hand in hand, but I've not had many problems staying healthy through the winter since then. Maybe a cold or a cough for a week, but nothing that's severe enough to send me to the doctor.

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