My employer arranged to have flu shots administered last week–I was the only one in my department that took advantage of the opportunity. Everyone thought I was crazy for getting one, and I felt the same about them for opting not to get the injection. They told me things like, “it’s not good to ‘trick’ your immune system unnecessarily.” My boss believes that you should only get inoculations when the apparent benefits outweigh the (supposed) costs, i.e. for deadly/serious diseases. I was also told that “only the elderly or those ‘at risk’ should get immunized.”
So, my question is twofold. Isn’t “tricking” one’s immune system the very definition of an inoculation? More importantly, is there any truth to my coworkers’ silly superstitions? Does giving my body a flu shot really weaken its ability to recognize and fight other, more serious diseases in the future?
That’s a threefold question, but you buy two, you get one free.
Your coworkers are misinformed at best. More probably, they are superstitious bordering on irrational. Bully for you getting innoculated!
There are only a very few conditons why you shouldn’t get vaccinated. This is the CDC’s list:
[li]Allergic to eggs.[/li][li]Have a history of Guillain-Barré Syndrome.[/li][/ul]That’s it. If you don’t fit either of the above classes, get innoculated. It beats being down with a virus for a week or two at a time and risking complications.
Derleth, proudly innoculated against both the flu and bacterial meningitis within the last few months.
Hee. Hee. People who are deathly afraid of needles make up the silliest crap. That is really what it is about.
You cannot get the flu from a flu shot. You will feel tired for a while. You will have immunity a few weeks later. Others have mentioned the only contra-indications.
Compared to 100 years ago, modern medicine can give us such long and healthy life, that some people take it for granted. Flu can kill you, even if you are healthy. Thousands die every year in this country as a result of flu.
Spartacus: Feeling tired after a flu shot? Never happened to me, anyway. I don’t even get the sore arm the nurses always warn me about.
And I am afraid of needles, but I get innoculated every year anyway. I don’t want to be inconvenienced.
Since I nearly died from the flu, I am pretty vigilant about getting my shot, and I’ve never had any side effects.
[sub]Aside: If you gotta go, going down with the flu isn’t a bad way. [/sub]
Derleth, I always get tired the next day, but I do it anyway. I have friends who admit to being deathly afraid of needles as a reason for avoiding vaccines and dentists.
Spart (since I can’t seem to spell the full version :)): I would rather be jabbed with needles longer than my dick than have a tooth abscess on me or get a serious disease.
I turn a deathly white whenever I have to get blood drawn. I feel faint and nauseous and dizzy. Nurses have looked frightened and prevented me from leaving the clinic (do you know how much it takes to frighten a nurse?) after I have had blood drawn. To this day, I haven’t once given blood: If I get that bad when all they fill is a syringe, I could risk bodily harm if anyone ever drew a full unit from me. That’s how afraid of needles I am.
Yet I always keep up-to-date on my vaccinations and I regularly visit the dentist. Even after a tooth extraction went wrong and the damned thing fractured. The dentist was in there for a good, long time, playing hide-and-seek with tooth fragments. Plenty of novocaine injections, plenty of pain. If I can survive the needles, they have no excuse.
Here’s another point - I would rather be sick for a week or two than get a needle - it would result in about the same effect. I’d be so sick at the prospect of getting it, that I’d be screwed anyway - but if I get the flu, it doesn’t come with a needle at the end of it.
Ah, but a flu shot is a hundred thousand times less likely to kill you than the flu is.