Flu Shot & Why You Should Get It!

Posted: Dec 14 2014

Rx Medicine   

 

 

-By Barbara Alvarez

It’s that time of the year again. Fall, cold weather, colds – and the flu. You know, that horrible sickness that hits you like a luchador right between the eyes. One minute, you feel great. The next, you start feeling horrible. You get a pounding headache and you start to feel like you just ran three marathons – you’re weak and moving from one room to the other is nearly impossible. Getting through work until the end of the day? It’s too much for you! You tell your boss you’re sick and you go home.

Your partner takes one look at you and, eyes wide, backs up away from you. “Don’t give it to me! You have the flu!” Of course, the coughing and flushed face alerted her. You trudge to your bedroom and collapse on the bed without bothering to take your clothes off.

Did you get your flu shot this year? You didn’t? Why not? Let’s discuss a few of those reasons – uhh, excuses:

√ I had the flu shot one year and got sick with the flu.
√ The flu is just like a bad cold. I don’t know why everyone makes such a big deal out of it.
√ The vaccine has mercury in it. That’s dangerous.

Okay, now it’s time to start talking some good sense now. First, if you work with anyone who has a compromised immune system, you can make them very sick. Second, if you meet up with anyone who suffers from asthma or another respiratory disorder, again – you can make them deathly sick, if not kill them outright. While I’m sure you work with a few people you’d like to make sick, you might want to think that through. That’s not such a nice thing to do to anyone, even if you don’t get along with them.

Now, onto those “reasons” for not getting a shot:

You can’t get the flu from a flu shot. At most, you’ll experience some muscle soreness where you got the shot. Maybe you’ll get a low-grade fever. That doesn’t mean you’re “sick” with the flu. If you do get the flu, your case may actually be more mild. Did you ever think of that?

Next, the flu isn’t “just” a bad cold. It’s a serious illness that targets the respiratory system, which is why it is so dangerous to some populations:

√ Infants
√ Elderly 65 and older
√ Anyone with a compromised immune system
√ Anyone suffering from chronic respiratory conditions
√ Healthcare and nursing home workers

Wow, that list covers a lot of people! Do you know any babies or elderly people? I’m sure you do. I’m also sure you don’t want to make them sick. Do you know anyone with asthma, emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease? A case of flu can make them seriously ill. They are more vulnerable to developing pneumonia. Are you reconsidering your decision? I hope so.

Those with compromised immune systems have to avoid illness as much as much as possible. This means staying away from sick people (like you) and getting a flu shot.

Here’s a short list of who should not get a flu shot:

√ Babies younger than 6 months
√ Anyone with life-threatening allergies to ingredients in the flu shot, such as gelatin, eggs and antibiotics.
√ Anyone who has had Guillain-Barre Syndrome
√ Anyone who is currently not feeling well.

(Told you the list would be short). But it’s a pretty significant list, isn’t it? Now, let’s revisit your decision not to get a flu shot. If you don’t want to make anyone on any of these lists sick, get yourself down to your doctor’s office or a pharmacy. Your insurance (Thank you, Affordable Care Act) should help with the expense, if you have to pay anything.

Image courtesy of PHenry

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