Today I am embarking into treacherous waters surrounding the flu vaccine.
I want to be clear that this is due to requests by some of my fans, who were kind enough to talk to me about getting sick while I was trying to enjoy myself at a party last night.
Yes, I love nothing more than discussing illness while sipping on my favorite beverages and stuffing Hors d'oeuvres down my throat.
Yet, the issue of the flu shot is important, so now that my head has cleared a little, I decided that we need to talk about it.
Now, every year I hear a variant of the following:
"I've never had a flu shot and I've never been sick!"
"I got a flu shot and got sick!"
Now, these claims have been addressed ad nauseum, but at least no one claims to have become autistic (yet).
However, in preparing to do this, I did do a little research, and have to admit I learned a few new things myself.
So, without further ado, here's the deal with flu shots:
1) Flu shots don't cause the flu.
This has been said several trillion times, yet, I still hear, "Well, I got the shot and was sick the next day!"
The flu shot does not contain live viruses. Also, even if it did you would not immediately get sick, because there is an incubation period.
I'm not saying you weren't sick, but it's not from the flu shot.
Just think about what you did that day. Where did you eat? Did you take public transportation? Were you in a crowd?
Any of those settings could have exposed you to the flu, causing you to get ill. The fact that it occurred right after your shot is pure coincidence.
Just like if you get sick after reading this, I didn't do it!
2) The flu shot is not 100% effective, so why bother?
This is probably one of the "better" argument (out of a bunch of shitty ones) in that the vaccine is no guarantee of not getting sick.
However, if you are healthy, chances are the vaccine will be more effective for you, and if you are a child or elderly, it may make the flu milder.
There is data supporting this, especially for children.
Now, I realize that no matter what I say, people will do whatever they want.
Which is why I want to start a cult where everyone always listens to me.
But I digress.
If despite my plea, you decide to not get the shot, because you're just so damned smart, then allow me to make a suggestion.
When you get sick, please stay home.
I know this means you have to use your precious PTO, but, you didn't get the shot and now you are sick.
Those of us who are not sick, would like to stay that way.
Also, it's very hard to work when the person in the next cubicle is hacking, coughing, sneezing, blowing their nose and moaning all day.
Nobody feels bad for you, and we are all disgusted when you go into a common area and put your hands all over everything.
Not only that, but by insisting on "toughing it out", you may be sicker longer and may run the risk of a more serious complication.
So, that's all for today.
Get your flu shot and stay happy and healthy this holiday season and into the New Year!!
If you'd like more info, here's a good website from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control)
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Filed under: Health Care