My company was offering vaccinations today for any employees wanting to gain protection from the flu this season. By the early afternoon, they ran out of vaccine and added another date a week from now to the schedule for those who did not get a chance.
I’ve never opted for the flu vaccine. It has always been my method of operation to take my chances and deal with the flu (without prescription medication) if the virus finds its way into my system. Last year, however, I had a tough time, and was out of commission more often than I would have liked. I suppose this comes with the territory of having a girlfriend whose job is to spend 8 hours a day with twenty-five ten-year-old germ balls.
I’ve always held the opinion that I shouldn’t need to introduce any more medication into my body than absolutely necessary. Not only that, but the vaccine works only against specific strains of influenza but is not very effective overall. As a relatively healthy individual, I do not have a high risk of complications from the flu, so other than missing a few days of work feeling sick, I don’t think it will hurt to skip the vaccine. Doing so might even mean that there is one more shot available for a young child or elderly individual with high risk for complications.
How about you? Will you be receiving the vaccination?
For some interesting reading, take a look and compare the information presented in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Seasonal Flu information page (strongly pro-vaccination), Wikipedia’s entry on the flu vaccine (somewhat neutral and scientific), and the British Medical Journal’s Influenza Vaccination: Policy Versus Evidence (strongly conclusive against vaccination).
Published or updated November 5, 2007.