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12 November 2008

Should I get a flu shot? I[More:] ponder and vacillate, and so I leave it up to you. Last year I got the flu. And I was SICK. Like in bed for two days sick, with another week of misery.

And I don't want that again. And this year I would hate to pass anything like that on to Baby tr33, who is doing wonderfully by the way.

But I know there's some bad stuff in flu shots (mercury), and I dread the potential soreness from the shot . . . and so am undecided.

What think ye, intelligentsia?
Oh, and if I want to get one at work, I have an hour to decide. Otherwise it means an extra trip to the doctor.
posted by tr33hggr 12 November | 09:54
If your baby is less than 6 months old (and therefore can't get a flu shot yet), then you should, because you are going to be around a high-risk (for complications arising from the flu) person (the baby).

I don't usually get one, but I'm not regularly around anyone in the high-risk category, so I'm only putting myself at risk to get sick.
posted by amro 12 November | 09:57
There's a discussion going on here.

Me, yeah, I say yes, esp. with the kid around.
posted by BoringPostcards 12 November | 09:58
You have a baby at home who can't get one, right? Yes, yes. yes. It's being discussed here, too. And the amount of thimeserol (which is about 50% ethylmercury) in the vaccine is incredibly small.
posted by gaspode 12 November | 09:58
With a child involved, I say go for it.
posted by MonkeyButter 12 November | 10:05
Yes. It's a very good idea to get the flu shot.

I don't practice what I preach. I have only had the flu shot once (with my first pregnancy). I don't think I have ever had the flu.
posted by LoriFLA 12 November | 10:05
Good lord. Ok, and thanks for pointing me to the other discussion. Ok, ok. I just don't want to be one of "those" people who end up sick after getting the shot, but I'll do it. I'll do it, ok! For my little girl, that makes it easy.

Check her out, by the way. Haven't updated in awhile, but she's the best.
posted by tr33hggr 12 November | 10:07
Oh, she's precious tr33! That smile :)
posted by gaspode 12 November | 10:10

Ugh, that other thread is scaring me. Now I wish I had gotten the shot when it was offered here at work.
posted by amro 12 November | 10:12
I just don't want to be one of "those" people who end up sick after getting the shot, but I'll do it.

"Those" people experience coincidences or minor side effects that do not remotely come close to actual flu in strength. And I say that as one of "those" people. I've had minor illness after a shot, I've had the full-blown flu, and brother, there ain't no comparison.

I missed my free work shot this year because of a major office snafu that was partly my doing. I've been floored the last few days with a strong parainfluenza virus -- flu-like symptoms (aches, chills, lethargy, the whole shootin' match), but it's day three now and I'm already improving, so not nearly as bad. After I get over this, my ass is getting a shot, pronto.
posted by middleclasstool 12 November | 10:24
So sorry middleclasstool. Hang in there, and we'll see if I'm one of "those" people too.

So, yes, got my shot!!
posted by tr33hggr 12 November | 10:38
I got mine today at work, too. I haven't had one in over twelve years. I had a verrrry mild reaction (itching) to that one, and they said, well just don't bother with it. But I'm not itchy now, and hopefully protected for myself and my family - I'm getting too old and brokedown to face the flu.

We also had our "Wellness Fair" today where they check your levels and stuff. I like to call it "Mortality Day." I always do good and/or bad on the same tests regardless of medication or lifestyle. For example, I am a cholesterol making machine. Apparently, I really enjoy making it. Luckily, I make lots of the good kind, so while my number is terrifying, my ratio is very good and they tell me not to worry.

We get a free gasoline card for participating, but so far I haven't seen any swag. Hrmm.

Yay tr33hggr!
posted by rainbaby 12 November | 11:04
FWIW, there's a flu shot specifically for pregnant women which has much less thimerosol than the regular one. That's the one I got, and they didn't even care if I was pregnant (I had asked about the level of mercury in the DTaP I was getting and they offered the low-mercury flu shot as well).
posted by Fuzzbean 12 November | 11:19
This whole flu shot thing? It's something that's only happened in the U.S. since I've been gone... and I don't really understand. Is the flu something different than the flu has always been, generally speaking? I mean there's always been different flu viruses and so on, but it's only, like, the last few years (as far as I know) that the flu shots have been such a big thing. And I'm not really hearing the same stuff here... but then I haven't asked.

I don't even have a doctor. So, what's the dealio? Am I suddenly plague-bound with the special millennium flu thingy?
posted by taz 12 November | 12:11
I have been told the potential minor discomfort after a shot is overrated. I got my shot this year with no trouble other than soreness at the injection point. I'm going to keep getting it every year, especially if it is free.
posted by grouse 12 November | 12:17
I think awareness has just increased, taz... both of how potentially dangerous the flu is, and how easy it is to prevent.

Myself, I've been getting flu shots every year for over 20 years, so they've definitely been available for a long time.
posted by BoringPostcards 12 November | 12:21
I think the flu becomes more of a public health concern as our life expectancy goes up, taz. Perhaps there are just more elderly and infirm people in larger clusters than ever before, and perhaps flu viruses have a more global reach now so we get more of them. I know I get one because my mom's asthmatic and prone to bronchial trouble. Also she's getting old.

I'd like to read more about this and see if my hunches reflect reality or the usual BS.
posted by Hugh Janus 12 November | 12:26
I've only gotten the flu once. When I was in elementary school. I think my badass immune system just DESTROYS it. (Srsly, my father's side of the family never gets ill. And they're all old geezers.)

I don't get them, but then again, I don't really work around the infirm or in giant petri dishes. Or am around wee ones. I suppose if circumstances were different, I would. (Granted, I could get one for free, but that would involve a drive up to Bmore, which isn't happening.)
posted by sperose 12 November | 12:35
i got my first flu shot this year cause i was at my dr for another reason and they were administering them for free, so i thought, "what the hey?" i don't usually get the flu, but i loathe getting sick... so a little prevention prolly won't hurt.
posted by es el queso 12 November | 14:35
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