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 V.22 No.3 | January 17 - 23, 2013 

Nurse Ratchett

Top Five Reasons to Get a Flu Shot

Frankly, it’s a little late. But it’s not too late. Not when the gut-wrenching game-changer in question is the influenza virus, better known simply as The Flu. We’re about mid-way through flu season here in New Mexico, so it’s not too late to get this year’s vaccination, thereby vastly reducing your chances of “catching a bug” that could, at the very least, set you stumbling back and forth on the trail of tears between your bedroom and bathroom for several days while your significant other spends their free time changing sheets, scrubbing the toilet bowl, and trying to figure out which carpet cleaner is most likely to get the vomit stains out of the rug. At worst, a bad case of the flu could see your loved ones spending their free time making funeral arrangements and fighting over who gets your vinyl records. So why take the risk?

There’s a lot of controversy spewed about vaccinations these days; some of it semi-founded, most of it not very well founded at all. Flu vaccines fall into the latter category, unless you happen to be one of those batshit types who believes that vaccines are an evil conspiracy aimed at injecting us with miniscule tracking devices, and that tens of thousands of doctors, healthcare providers, researchers, scientists, regulators, and ethics boards worldwide are all in on the fix and have somehow managed to keep that fact a secret from the rest of us. Frankly, if you believe that, I know a French model who wants to date you.

Here are the Top Five Reasons to get a flu shot … today:

1. The Flu Can Kill You

Not sure how, really, to expound upon that without making you feel stupid.

2. Even If It Doesn’t Kill You, It Is Likely To Make You Extremely Ill

There’s something to be said for taking a sick day from work now and then when you’re not feeling well. It’s a whole different story when you actually have the flu. Having the flu sucks. It hurts. All over. You can’t eat, you can’t drink, you can’t sleep, watch TV or do any of the things you think might be fun to do on a sick day home from work now and then. And it lasts for days on end.

3. If You Can’t Get a Flu Shot for Free, You Can Probably Get One Pretty Damn Cheap

If you go to a Smith’s or Walgreen’s pharmacy right now, the most you will pay for a flu shot is $25, even if you’re uninsured. If you are insured, chances are good that your flu shot is free.

4. Getting a Flu Shot Will Not Give You the Flu

I’m tired of hearing that the flu vaccine can give people the flu. It just doesn’t happen. Flu vaccines are developed from inactivated viruses or viruses weakened to the degree that they cannot cause disease—there’s a science to this, folks. If you’re already infected with the flu or some other virus before you get the shot, or if you happen to run across a strain of influenza the vaccine doesn’t protect against, then you’re going to get sick. But that’s not the shot’s fault.

5. The World Doesn’t Revolve Around You, Asshole

If you don’t get sick, you don’t miss work and your coworkers don’t have to pick up your slack. And your significant other doesn’t have to clean up after you or listen to you groan and whine like a baby for three-to-five days. And you don’t wind up dehydrated and dragging your uninsured ass to the ER, draining resources and putting the burden on taxpayers. If you die, well, people have to take time off to attend your funeral and all that. And I doubt your vinyl collection is good enough to justify that.

 

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