I am in the process of reading a book about the flu pandemic of 1918. The author, Gina Kolata, describes the processes scientists have for locating the flu virus, and testing procedures to isolate that particular strain of flu. Kind of boring? No!!! With the various strains of flu and the ability of flu viruses to jump species, it is scary. Fascinatingly scary.
But do you think I will get a flu shot this year? No!!! I often read about why health workers do not get flu shots and it varies from person to person. I used to get them regularly when I worked in acute care, but now after some investigating on whether I will benefit from it, I have decided against it. But I do advocate them, especially for the elderly and others who are at high risk of complications from the flu.
I get the flu at least once a year, sometimes twice, and during those three days my wife takes care of me while I either sweat or freeze on our couch watching old spaghetti westerns with Clint Eastwood as the star. I stay in fair shape, take a vitamin and eat well. Since I do not fit into a high-risk group of complications from the flu, I will sacrifice my shot and allow a high-risk person to take it.
Often my symptoms are very similar to those who do get the flu shot and putting an injection into someone is permanent; there is no taking back what was injected. When I have asked nurses what is in the flu shot, most answers were vague. Some did not even know. Those who did know what they were giving to people were surprised by my questions because few people had asked them. So, will you get the flu shot this year?