Time to Get Your Flu Shot

English: Entrance to the headquarters of the C...
Entrance to the headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
According to the Centers for Disease Control, less than half of Americans get a flu immunization each year (reported in the Jackson Free Press). Are that many people afraid this vaccine could give them Autism? Or maybe they have an alternative means of escaping the flu.

But seriously, I admit that there have been a couple of years when I forgot to get my flu shot. This is unwise since I work in a busy university setting where I can count on being exposed to nearly every contagious illness that seems to sweep through the students. I need to get my shot not just because I don't want to get sick (which I don't) but also because I don't want to spread it to others. Perhaps I do have a bit of humanism in me after all.

The older I get, the more likely I am to get an annual flu shot. That's because I've found that getting the flu seems to be a worse experience as I age. It used to be the sort of thing I'd recover from after a few days; now it is almost always a full week or more. I used to be able to function at least to some degree when I had the flu, but the last time it really knocked me on my ass.

Influenza vaccines are not always effective. In fact, I think last year's was supposed to be a particularly ineffective batch. Early reports suggest that this year's should be much more effective, but these things are tough to predict. I got my shot yesterday on the way home from work. I'll gladly put up with a couple days of mild pain in my shoulder and some minor fatigue in the hope that I can escape the flu this year and make it less likely that I'll spread it to others.

The Mississippi Department of Health recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months receive the flu vaccine. If you haven't gotten around to getting your shot yet, there is still time to do so.

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