WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Big push for people to get flu shots... Will you get one?

Public health officials here in Delaware and elsewhere are once again calling on people to get flu shots.

Indeed, the Delaware Division of Public Health is launching a media campaign targeting people between the ages of 18 and 49, many of whom just plain skip the immunizations.

Indeed, here at our own radio stations, a sign-up sheet is posted for flu shots.

My name will not be on it.

Bluntly, I doubt I've ever received a flu shot except perhaps as a youngster.

Yes, I have an aversion to needles (although admittedly I can "tolerate" a quick immunization, whereas I feel queasy, dizzy, or faint from any blood work!)

But I've never felt the need to get a flu shot, perhaps related to the fact that I don't recall ever having the flu.

Apart from three hernia operations and three broken arms, I've hardly ever missed school or work. A half day short of perfect attendance in high school.

Rightly or wrongly, I feel I'm more likely to experience a complication from the flu shot than from just living life without one. Knowing my luck, I'd be among the small percentage of people to experience a reaction.

Plus, even public health authorities admit the vaccine is far from 100% effective; strains selected for the vaccine may not necessarily correlate with the strains circulating during flu season.

I've also read stories over the years that people with allergies (like me) are more likely to expel alien germs; and this constitutes a partial natural defense against catching the flu (and other ailments).

But, ultimately, I think it comes down to this: I wash my hands constantly. (It never ceases to amaze me how many men DON'T wash their hands in public restrooms, or just give their hands a cursory wash!) I use a paper towel to shield my hand from a doorknob AFTER washing my hands. If I shake hands with someone, I wash my hands again.

Does this all have something to do with me not getting the flu? Can't say. Of course, there's always a first time.

Posted at 7:16pm on September 26, 2012 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Wed, Sep 26, 2012 10:39pm
If I'm in for a routine doctor visit, I'll usually get a flu shot if it's that time of year. Don't know if it really makes any difference, but I've never had a reaction, so I figure for me it's a little extra insurance.

Mike from Delaware
Thu, Sep 27, 2012 8:12am
Allan: I remember not that many years ago, where the PSA's for flu shots targeted children and the anyone over 60 to get the flu shots, so for many years I didn't get the flu shot. Especially because there always seemed to be a news story telling about shortages of the flu shot being available and how important it was for those in the high risk groups to get the shot. So it seemed selfish to get the shot that might cause someone in the high risk age groups to not be able to get the shot. So for years my wife and I didn't get the flu shot, for that reason.

Then one year while getting my physical my doctor asked why we never get the flu shot and I explained that to him, and he said, get the shot, there's no longer any shortages. So since then my wife and I get one every year. I'd rather get the shot than get the actual flu. Of course, now I'm over 60 so I guess I need the shot more now as I've entered that upper age group that they used to target.

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