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Recently returned from serving the people of Honduras for 3 years

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Just Get the Shot Already

Have you had your flu shot already?

Good for you!

This bloggy public service announcement is brought to you from a reformed anti-flu-shot antagonist.

For years I didn't get the annual flu vaccination, despite the counsel of the medical community, despite the fact that I am an RN working in the health community, despite it being provided free and totally convenient for me to access. I did once upon a time, like many of you, get sick with flu type symptoms after receiving the vaccination, and in my head (wrongly, I might add) associated those symptoms with the flu vaccination and decided I wasn't getting THAT again.

And now this year: What a dilemma . . . should you or should you not get the H1N1 flu vaccination. Or even the regular flu vaccination for that matter?

You should get both, and I'll tell you why.

There has been much information circulating this year concerning the pros and cons of the flu vaccination. Particularly the H1N1 vaccination. Employers requiring their employees to get vaccinated (can they really do that?), news stories of vaccinations being rushed into production, discussions over what populations are really at risk to the flu virus, the severity of the disease and the symptoms. And all would be somewhat factual in nature.

Here is the reason why you and almost everyone should get vaccinated.
Because . . . (da da da da!)

It's not about YOU!

You might be in a low risk category for getting the annual or H1N1 flu virus, you might not have much chance of getting hospitalized or even dying from a flu virus. You might be particularly healthy, strong and have never had the flu in your life. But guess what? It's not about YOU.

It's all about protecting those in our communities, homes, schools, neighborhoods and workplaces who ARE at an increased risk. These would be pregnant women, people living in households with babies under 6 months (alright, who NEVER comes in contact with someone who fits into THAT category?) ((additional note - since infants cannot be immunized, and are in one of the highest risk categories, they must be protected by preventing illness in those around them)), medical personnel who are likely to be in contact with infected patients, young people between 6 months and 24 years old, and nonelderly individuals who have underlying conditions such as asthma, respiratory illness, or a compromised immune system.

Did you know you are actually contagious and spreading the flu virus before you experience any of the symptoms yourself? So while it is good advice to stay home when one experiences flulike signs and symptoms, in reality it actually may be too late. You may have already spread the virus to your pregnant daughter, your infant or other young grandchildren or neighbors, your immunocompromised friends or family members.

"While the disease seen in the current 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak has been mild for many people, it has been severe and even fatal for others. There is no way to predict with certainty what the outcome will be for an individual." - CDC "2009 H1N1 Flu(Swine Flu) and You" Oct 20, 2009

Is the flu vaccine safe, and particularly the H1N1 Vaccine safe?
CDC medical professionals expect the H1N1 vaccine to have a similar safety profile as other typical seasonal flu vaccines, which have a very good safety track record. Over the years, hundreds of millions of Americans have received seasonal flu vaccines with minimal side effects recorded.

Are there some people who should not receive seasonal or H1N1 Flu vaccines?
Yes, it would include people who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs, or have previously had a severe allergic reaction to a flu vaccine, children less than 6 months of age, those who currently have a moderate-to-severe illness with a fever (they should wait until they are recovered to vaccinate).

Please read these helpful information sheets to determine which type of seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccine YOU should receive:

So, don't get the flu vaccine because some employer is mandating it. Don't pass it by because some political outspoken professes our government is taking away our agency. Just get the shot already because it is the single most effective way to decrease the spread, complications and repercussions of the flu, and protect not only ourselves, but our family members, neighborhoods and communities.

If you're interested, there is tons of information, just about everything you would ever want to know - at the CDC, Flu Information Update Center.


Jackie said...

I really want to get H1N1, you know, being a pregnant woman and all, but I don't know where.

Tips on how to find it? Do I call county heatlh? My doctor ordered it, but didn't get it and he said CVS sometimes has it, but I called and the person I talked to didn't speak English very well...argh!

Shewinn8 said...

Okay Kristin I have said it before and I will say it again....Why do we not live closer. We have so much in common. I can't believe you are a devoted pumpkin carver and a reformed flu shot advocate. THAT'S ME TOO! And I love the part about, "It's not about you!" Isn't that so true. I am going to use that one. That could really apply to many things lol!
Thanks for being my bloggy friend! :)

Carolyn said...

We have egg allergies at my house so I am trying to make a decision about who to vaccinate etc.

It is driving me crazy.

CityGirl GoneCountry said...

Wow....I am glad i came upon ur blog about the H1N1 vaccine. I have never had the flu shot nor my kids...and now i my daughter is pregnant and they want her to get both but im scared for her.....shouldnt i be?

CityGirl GoneCountry said...

Thanks for stopping by my page:) I am going to check alot of things out on the vaccine, but your blog really made me realize that it's something we all need to do.....I myself might just get it...thanks abunch:)

stacie said...

This is good information.

Mary said...

I live in the Midwest and H1N1 has hit us hard here. The younger the child the worst it is.They have been giving free vaccination at the health clinics and have had long lines every time. They have ran out before everyone has had a chance to get them at every clinic they have held. They are now bringing nurses to the schools and vac the kids there. Several schools have been closed due to the H1N1. When this flu gets in your neighborhood it moves very fast and very hard. Thanks for encouraging other to get vaccinated. .

Brianne said...

My kids have both had the flu vaccine and we are waiting for the H1N1, it is at my doctors but my kids are sick and they need to be healthy to get it! Agh! My doc said they will need two doses! I wish they didn't but we are waiting for them to be better.

My daughter is still home sick. She was in school one day this week!

ApachesPrincess said...

This is such a great article on some thing that is so greatly talked about right now. You wrote it out in such a great way on why we should get the shot and that its not about us but about others! Thanks!

Nancy@ifevolutionworks.com said...

Thanks for all this great info on the vaccination! I keep going back and forth on what to do about it.

Mrs. Mordecai said...

Great post! We're trying extra hard this year to get vaccinated with a little baby in our house. We've all got the normal shot, but supplies of H1N1 are running low around here. :(

Moody Food Reviews said...

Hi following you from Comment club! Please follow back and look forward to commenting!

tammy said...

Is there even going to be enough for us non-pregnant, non-healthcare working, healthy women? I would get it if it were available to me. So far it hasn't been.

Heather Kephart said...

I'm just like you. I get my kids vaccinated, but something about the flu shot gets my back up. My daughter's already had hers, but I should take my son over today to get his. Still waiting for the swine flu vaccs to come in. Have a good weekend!

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