Buzz words: seasonal influenza vaccination

Got my flu shot today.  A+B strains.  It hurt this time.  The nurse joked with me that I could get one in each arm, and that way cover next year as well.  Ha ha.  I passed.  (She really is a good nurse, just a weird sense of humour sometimes. )


Seems like the  flu shot is one of the hot topics around.  People for, people against, lots of facts and opinions passing as facts,  Tara Haelle, a science journalist, took a stab (pun intended) at researching and responding to what she terms the 25 major myths about the flu vaccine, and set them forth in Red Wine and Applesauce (Health and Science News for Moms).  She clearly states:

First, an important note: I am a science journalist but not a medical doctor. I’ve compiled research here to debunk common myths about the flu vaccine. You should always consult a reliable, trusted medical professional with questions that pertain specifically to you. For the CDC recommendations on the 2013-2014 flu vaccines (including information on which vaccines pregnant women, the elderly and children under 2 should *not* get), please consult the CDC site directly.

Some of the myths:

Myth #1: The flu vaccine gives you the flu or makes you sick. (No, it doesn’t.)
Myth #2: Flu vaccines contains dangerous ingredients, such as mercury, formaldehyde and antifreeze. (Not exactly, and the ingredients aren’t dangerous.)
Myth #3:  Pregnant women should not get the flu shot. (They should.) / The flu shot can cause miscarriages. (It doesn’t.) / Pregnant should only get the preservative-free flu shot. (Nope.)
Myth #4: Flu vaccines can cause Alzheimer’s disease. (They can’t.)

And so on…

I’m also impressed with how seriously she replies to her comments.  Not everyone will agree with her, but it’s certainly worth reading.

I didn’t always get the flu shot.  And I almost always got whatever flu strain was floating around.  Three years running it turned into pneumonia, at which point my doctor said “Do yourself a favour, get a flu shot next year.”  So I did.  And every year since.  And I haven’t had the flu since.  Other things, sure.  Bad colds, The occasional virus.  But not the flu.  So for me, it works.

So.   After I got the shot, and rested the required number of minutes until my friend the nurse released me, I headed to the pharmacy to pick up some stuff.  Took my number, sat down to wait and knit.  And dropped a stitch almost right away.  With laceweight yarn and teeny needles.   I didn’t have my knitting bag with me, just the project bag, so no tools like a handy crochet hook, but I still managed to pick up the dropped stitch and get it back in place.  Decided that it wasn’t a good idea to continue there, and besides, the line wasn’t too long, so I sighed and put it away.  Back at home, I used a crochet hook to even out the stretched stitch and knitted a round or two.  All’s right with the world.  And my arm isn’t sore, nor red, nor swollen, just a little bump where the needle jabbed me.

Do you get flu shots?  Do you think they make a difference?


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