Guest Posts

Are flu shots safe

Why in the world would I get a flu shot? Until a few days ago, I hadn’t. It’s a bit of an embarrassing admission for a public health professor, I must admit. But the current influenza epidemic – along with some prompting from this week’s script editor Hillary Craddock – got me thinking: why do I find it so easy to do nothing, when all the advice is to just go out and get a shot? It’s not as if I’m worried about the risk of complications – this is pretty insignificant for someone like me.

But like many, my default position is to sit on my backside and do nothing until I need to. And I’m great at rationalizing this: I hate taking unfamiliar meds unless I absolutely have to – even the occasional Advil is a tough call! I’ve never been hit by a serious bout of flu – why tempt fate? I don’t personally know anyone whose life has been threatened by the flu.

And on top of all that, I’m told that the current vaccine is only around 60% successful at preventing infection So why get a shot?

Surely I’m okay just doing nothing. Right? Well, maybe not. Influenza is miserable at best and life-threatening at worst. This is not just a bad cold.

Are flu shots safe?

And despite my fantasies, I am not immune. What’s worse – if the flu gets me, I become a carrier, spreading the nasty little virus around to friends and colleagues.

And that 60% protection rate? Those are actually pretty good odds for avoiding something as unpleasant as this year’s strains of the disease. In other words, the evidence indicates that my arguments for not getting a flu shot are pretty lame.

Ouch! Clearly, it’s time to put my risk money where my risk mouth is and take the plunge. This is why I found myself doing my bit for herd immunity last week and getting myself vaccinated. But did I get that shot because I was convinced by the evidence or because I was shamed into it? I’ll swear blind by the former if asked.

Just don’t expect me to prove it! For more information on this year’s flu, check out the links in the video blurb below, and stay well!

Read More: Could You Ever Be Immune To EVERY Disease? Your Immune System, Explained!

As found on YouTube