November 3, 2008

Question

My office is giving out free flu shots all last week and this, but tomorrow is the last day it will be in a building close to me.

Which leads me to a question I've been mulling over for three or four weeks now: Should I get a flu shot or not?

Ugh, help me decide whether or not to get a big old needle shoved into my arm.

29 comments:

  1. A personal decision, but I do. I work around a lot of people and I have a wife and little boy at home, so it behooves me not to get sick and bring it home...neither of them need it.

    It's a relatively small needle and quick procedure, and doesn't hurt. Every year my arm hurts a bit more, but that's only because my body is reacting faster to it. A dose of ibuprofen takes care of that easily.

    Given how many peeps you're around...I'd recommend it pretty highly.

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  2. P.S. I haven't had a flu shot in over 32 years. Those that I know who get flu shots get the flu anyway. Maybe it helps them from getting really, really ill?

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  3. But the shot is free! I thought you loved free things!

    Since I work in a hospital (albeit not with patients), our workplace is a "no flu zone," where everyone has to get the vaccine or sign a decline form and give it their managers. From what I understand, The Real Flu is horrible and not at all what we might refer to as the flu. My brother-in-law got it last year and was quarantined, literally. He couldn't even go to the pharmacist to get his medication. So, anyway, I vote to get the shot.

    Plus, I got a lollipop when I got my shot, so there's always that. :)

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  4. I don't get one. I rarely get sick, so I just figure I'll risk it. I got a MMR shot once and broke out like I had measles....I was so cute even though I wasn't contagious. If I was around kids or older folks more I might feel differently.

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  5. I'm a bit hesitant about the flu shot. Do we really need it? I mean unless you are old or an infant, the flu is just a nuisance. Plus, I can count on one hand the times I've had the flu in my life- and I've never had the flu shot.

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  6. I've gotten flu shots for the past couple of years and have yet to get sick—before the flu shots I used to get really sick once or twice a year.

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  7. I never get the flu when I get the shot. My wife gets the flu when she gets the shot. You have to judge how you react to it yourself.

    Knot

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  8. I always get one more so I don't get really really sick and transfer that to my family and friends and co-workers. My mother has health issues so I don't want to get her sick. The choice is up to you...but the needle is super duper small so don't be afraid of that part! However, the injection site might hurt for a couple days.

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  9. I never get one, and Senor Pants got one and it made him sick as all get out, so I come down on the side of no, but that's just me. I think I might try to figure out if this is this is a "we got all the strains covered" year or an "eh, maybe we might have gotten one or two" kind of year, just because I have heard before that they don't really always get it right on target and those years it doesn't help at all.

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  10. I'm getting one. So, do it and we can be flu shot buddies.

    (also, I'm only getting one because my boyfriend did and he's shaming me into it)

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  11. I think it's a good idea to get one. Considering how many people (germs) you come in contact with, you'd be better being safe than sorry. It's a little uncomfortable, but overall a pretty easy procedure to get the shot.
    I would recommend looking up some FAQs about the immunization and base your decision on that.

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  12. I was conflicted too, but I got one and I barely even felt it. Every doctor I know said that it's important for people working with kids to get the shot because it could help prevent problems that kids with immune deficiency problems might otherwise be exposed to.

    Anyway, it was painless! I swear!

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  13. I get a flu shot and have for the last 3 years or so and I've not gotten horribly sick or anything. My work gives them for free as well. The needle is smaller than like a tetanus shot, I think. It hardly hurt, compared to other shots I've gotten.

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  14. I never get one either and I usually do not get sick. They kind of freak me out to be honest.

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  15. I don't know, I've never had the flu so I've never felt like there was any point. I mean really, does the flu really exist??? I know, I know. I'm sure it does but I'm pretty sure most pansies just use that term when they have a bad cold.

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  16. never got one...never needed one :) i don't even get them for my kids!! (not because i am against them, but because i have never felt we need them!) never had a problem...knock on wood! good luck with the decision!

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  17. Uh, do you not remember freshman year? Death year? The coughing? The aching? The coughing! The fevers! The aching! The coughing!

    It's free. Don't be a baby.

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  18. I hear that all pregnant women should get it, so maybe it would be a good idea.

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  19. I got a free shot last week. It was quick and surprisingly pain free. My arm didn't even hurt afterward.

    The 'experts' say that "at risk" people should definitely get the shot (old people, children, pregnant women, etc.). I'm not sure if it makes a difference - this is the first time I've gotten one.

    But if it's free....why not?

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  20. I've never had one and I haven't had anything remotely resembling the flu in about ten years, so I probably wouldn't get it. (But that might have as much to do with my aversion to being unnecessarily stabbed by large needles.)

    P.S. Word verification: asessin. After writing about large needles, I read it as assassin.

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  21. In my openplan section, of the four of us, I was the only one NOT to get the shot last year. And of the four of us, I was the only one not to get the flu. The closest I came was a tiny cold.

    Coincidence maybe, but what HAS been shown conclusively is that, if your bpdy was in some way about to get the flu (dunno the technical terms, but was already incubating the virus or something), getting the shot will intensify the flu you get five to ten fold.

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  22. I'm sure that your decision has been made by this point, but since I'm here, I might as well comment. Flu shots prevent Influenza A which can be deadly, so it never hurts to immunize. However, that is only one type of flu virus so there is a large misconception that flu shots "don't work" because people get them and still get "the flu." What these people don't realize is that they are still susceptible to OTHER flu viruses even with a flu shot. SO it's good to get one, but keep in mind that it only prevents one particular virus. I hope that makes sense.

    I was diagnosed with Influenza A my senior year of high school. I was out of school for two weeks. It was long and miserable and far worse than any common flu that is typically seen during the winter months.

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  23. "P.S. I haven't had a flu shot in over 32 years. Those that I know who get flu shots get the flu anyway. Maybe it helps them from getting really, really ill?"

    I have to disagree with this. I've gotten the flu shot for the past three years (and I work in a hospital where all the sick people come), and have never gotten sick. I didn't even get sick last year when, unfortunately, the flu shot was not for the right strain going around.

    Sometimes we scientists get it wrong when deciding what strains to include in the flu vaccine. Sometimes the virus mutates to a different strain that is expected. This is bad because the flu vaccine takes about 8 months to produce. If the virus mutates, we can't really do anything about it because it's too late.

    If you have a weakened immune system (usually see this is adults over the age of 65), are a child, or work around sick people, the CDC recommends you get a vaccine. I figure we have this modern medicine, we might as well use it.

    I'd rather not take my chances and get terrible sick and miss 2 weeks of work....so say YES to flu vaccines!

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  24. I'm totally for flu vaccines, but then I'm in the health care industry now. If a)it's free and b)it can't hurt, then I say go for it. The worst that can happen is that you get a different flu, but the best that can happen is that you don't get sick at all. So I'm weighing in with the 'for' vote.

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  25. I'm a bit anti-flu shot, no scratch that, I'm very anti-flu shot. Our office is giving them out free today as well - ick! It doesn't help that I'm deathly afraid of needles and involuntarily end up passed out on the floor anyway. But still, building our immunity is a good thing right?

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  26. Kim: That's exactly how a vaccine works -- it injects dead or incapacitated viruses into your body so your body can learn how to fight the infection without ACTUALLY becoming infected. So, you're not really compromising your body's natural abilities (like antibiotics do), you're enhancing them.

    The ONLY reasons I can see someone NOT getting a flu shot is:

    1. You're allergic to the shot itself (egg-based, so some people can't have it)

    2. It's against your beliefs (strange, but you're allowed)

    3. You have a depressed immune system already and don't want to bog it down. (plausible, but get one when you get better)

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  27. From your nurse cousin... get the flu shot. It's kind of like vaccinations... liklihood of coming down with ruebella? Slim to none, but it sure wouldn't be very pleasant in the case that the slim wins out. I've had this kind of flu and it makes you wonder if you want to die. :) Plus... the needle is short lived. And flu shots haven't killed anyone yet that I know of. If you fly me to Austin, I'll give it to you myself... wouldn't that be a fun bonding activity? :)

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  28. So you've probably already made your decision, I'm a little behind checking blogs... As for me? Not a big flu shot advocate. Just another one of my conspiracy theories.

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