Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Talk to Me – Flu Shots

I went to the doctor for a regular check-up awhile back and was asked if I had received the flu shot yet this year.  I said it had been since college since I had last gotten a flu shot. (Which by the way made me realize that was over 10 years ago! Dang, I’m old!)  It was suggested I get the flu shot just to be safe.  Of course the obedient patient I am thought about going to get the shot but the person that is very afraid of needles decided “ah, what the heck…I don’t need to go get that.  I haven’t had the actual flu in YEARS (knock on wood). I am fine.” 

Fast forward to today.  A lady in our office and her family have had a terrible case of the flu for a number of days now.  She didn’t come in the office Monday or Tuesday because she was getting sick ALL THE TIME but she is here today.  I have my own opinions on coming into the office when you have been sick and may still be contagious which I will keep to myself, sort of, but it made me think….hey should I be getting the flu shot?

Every time I think about getting the flu shot I think about the following:

“I haven’t had the flu in years, I will be fine.”

“I think flu shots interfere with our bodies natural immune system.”

“I hate needles.”

“How do I know if I am even protected from the right strain if I come in contact with someone who has a different strain of the flu.”

“The flu virus mutates very quickly and changes so it can survive, so how does the flu shot protect against those changes.”

“Needles SUCK.”

“My immune system is healthy (knock on wood) and my body is designed to naturally fight off viruses, so why should I get it.”

“It seems like when I hear people get the flu shot they end up getting sick anyways.”

“I wash my hands regularly and take vitamins, that should be enough right.”

“I don’t want to get a shot, please don’t make me!”

I think people have very different opinions on the flu virus and flu shots, but I was just looking to see what others thought so to learn more about the flu shot.  I mean I know the difference between the shot and the nasal and I understand the idea of the flu shot, but in regards to is it “worth” it – well I am just not sure.  I am all for other vaccines, but the flu one I go back and forth on whether I think I need it at this point in my life.  I am young enough that my immune system is still strong (knock on wood) and I wash my hands a lot and try to be careful.

So the question/s:

 - What are your thoughts on getting the flu shot?  
- Is it necessary to get the shot?
- Are there times in your life where it is more necessary than other times?
- Is there a time when you wouldn’t get the shot? 

Please share your thoughts on this.  I realize the flu season is coming to a close, but being around someone who had the flu made me think about it more.


  1. just my opinions:
    i do not get the flu shot. it seems random as to which strain it will be each year, and they select one and that's the one they make the shot for. it could do nothing for the flu YOU get, but you'll never know. no reason to get a shot that may or may not work.

    getting the flu sucks but it's really not that big a deal. i'm not old or sick, i can take it. so i take the risk knowing that maybe i'll get the flu.

    but, i'm also all hippy-fied and not a huge vaccines person anyway, so my viewpoint is probably skewed.

    i think they're great for old people, and sick people. most healthy adults? nah.

  2. I don't really have an educated opinion either way (SHOCKER), but from my own experience: I think I'm historically MORE likely to get some strain of the flu if I get the shot. This year I had strep and two sinus infections, both of which I get at least every other year, anyway. If you're relatively healthy, I think skipping it is totally cool.

    Of course, if you DO get the flu, STAY YOUR ASS HOME. I HATE when people come back to work all snotty and hacky and/or barfy. You are not a hero. We don't want you here. STAY HOME.

  3. Since the girls are in kindergarten this year, we decided to all get vaccinated because who knows the amount of sickies they'll bring home from school! My parents got the shot too, since they watch the girls a lot. We didn't have a reaction at all to the shot and so far the only sickies we've had is a bout of mild colds.

  4. Amen WP - stay HOME if you are sick. I hate that too.

    I did partake in the flu shot in November and I am 32 and healthy. NOW - I have not gotten the FLU this year but I did get a cold - this cannot be prevented. The shot was offered for no charge at work so I took advantage. I did not get sick after I received it, I was just a little tired. It's winter. I'm tired a lot.

    I didn't think it would hurt and I am glad I did it. I would do it again.

  5. Everyone has to do what is best for themselves, their family, and based on their situation. I totally appreciate hearing people’s opinions on this!

    And I am totally annoyed that the person is at work today. You just started "feeling better" today (so you say), your whole family has the flu, and chances are you are contagious. You can work from home so I do not have to Lysol the bathroom every time I use it and wash my hands every time I touch something in the common area. boooo

  6. Oh man, don't get me started on people who are sick and go to work, take their kids out places to play, etc. Keep your germs at home!

    That said, I do not get the flu shot, nor do my kids. We are all healthy, our bodies are designed to fight these things. I think it may be necessary for old people or those who have poor immune systems, but even then, it doesn't prevent you from getting the flu.

    Side note: Every one of my daughter's friends who got the shot have been sick pretty much all winter. No thank you.

  7. I shan't get preachy, but we all get the flu shot.

    I do delayed vaccines with the ladies and I was SUPER against the flu shot. I began doing research to arm myself with facts that I could throw into the faces of others. I wound up being pro-shot.

    Whoda thought?

  8. I got it a couple years ago when lil' b was just a little guy since I figured it would suck getting him sick and watching all that, but haven't since then.

    My Gram has problems when she gets the shot, so she won't get it anymore.

  9. I agree with all of the arguments you have with yourself - I have them too!

    The only flu shot I have gotten in a LONG time - even before college - was last year, while I was pregnant. I was hesitant, but after encouragement from several doctors, I just went ahead and had one.

    Joss did get her flue shots (2, since it was her 1st time) this year. I just can't imagine a little body like hers being able to handle a severe flu so I thought it was worthy protecting her against whatever I could. She has had colds, but like Iris said, that's different and cannot be helped.