Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Got my flu shot...have you?

I actually didn't get flu shots for quite a few years. When I was in college, I got my flu shot one year, and got really sick anyway. That experience gave me a ready excuse to avoid the slight inconvenience of going out of my way for the flu shot. And guess what, I got sick in some of the years that I didn't get the shot, too. When I thought about it logically, avoiding the shot made no sense.

Last year, you might have heard how the flu vaccine was less effective than usual. That's because the creation of the vaccine is basically a guessing game - experts pick a few varieties to include in the vaccine, a bunch of that vaccine is produced, and we all hope that the flu varieties which actually show up in the wild match the vaccine. Sometimes the guesses are good, and sometimes they're not.

But none of that means getting a flu shot is a bad idea. Even if the guess isn't very good, the vaccine can still provide some protection. And if the guess is good, having the protection can mean a much lower chance of the misery that comes with having the flu.

It's very easy to get the vaccine, too. There's the doctor's office, of course, but that's not your only option. Some employers bring the flu shot to you. A lot of corner pharmacies offer the shot in their stores. Almost every health insurance plan covers the cost of the flu shot (though you'll want to make sure you check your plan for approved providers beforehand), but even if yours doesn't, the shot itself is usually around $30. Probably a lot less than you'd spend on medicine if you get sick!

So now, I get the shot every year. Some years I get sick, some I don't...but I'm convinced that I'm avoiding at least some instances of being miserably sick. And that's worth a little pin-prick once a year.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that flu shots are necessary to avoid getting terribly ill. Sure, it's inconvenient to take the time to go to the doctor or pharmacy to get the vaccine, but it can save lost time at work and school because the flu can hit pretty hard just when something important is happening.