Be smart, get flu shot

Published 9:38 am Friday, January 18, 2013

If you’ve already gotten your vaccination for the flu, then we thank you.

If you’re letting an irrational fear of needles or the stubborn belief that vaccinations cause the flu, then shame on you.

Which would you rather endure? A shot in the arm that lasts only a few seconds and might briefly cause mild discomfort, or suffer several days of misery because you chose to go unprotected?

If it’s the latter, then the word idiot comes to mind.

As anyone who’s experienced the flu can testify, the time off from school or work isn’t a vacation. Your body aches, burns and chills, to name a few symptoms, for what can seem like forever. Then when you’ve finally recovered, there’s all that work to be finished.

The shot you get contains very weak or even dead viruses, which trigger an immune response. About two weeks are needed for full effectiveness. Any illness that occurs before then is because you’ve already been exposed to the flu – or possibly another illness that causes similar symptoms.

The Centers for Disease Control recently stated that the current vaccine is 62 percent effective. You might think that’s too low so why bother. To which Dr. Nancy Welch points out that while no vaccine can be 100 percent effective, 62 percent is much better than 0 percent. Welch is the interim director for the Western Tidewater Health Department and knows whereof she speaks.

Again, for your sake — if no one else — get your shot today and breathe a little easier.