Like most Americans I have had mixed feelings about getting the flu shot. The danger groups of course are children and the elderly and since I don’t fall into either category, and have enjoyed great health all of my life, I just didn’t see the need. Pile on top of that all the crazy conspiracy theories and doomsday urban legends about putting chemicals in your body I generally just shied away from getting it. This year I did something different.
When I went in for my yearly check up, which this year was just last month, I asked my new doctor at Kaiser if he thought I should get it. His response was honest. He said I was in great health and not in any danger really of any type of fatal impact but he did say this: “The one up side is that you won’t carry or pass on those strains to someone else.” We contract and carry bugs and viruses all the time that our own immune system successfully fights off. How many seasons now have I been exposed to the flu bug and then potentially passed it on to someone’s child or grandparent completely unknowingly?
That sealed the deal for me. Maybe I’m not at risk and maybe I’ll still get the flu, because the flu shot doesn’t guarantee you won’t get sick, but at least I’ll have peace of mind knowing I did my part to not be a part of the larger problem. With the country dealing with an outbreak I feel good that I went the extra mile to help firewall the spread of whatever strain that is included in the shot. I’ll be getting the flu shot every year from here on out and I’ll be happy to do it. At Kaiser it was 100% free and the doctor did it right here in the exam room. No price to pay for helping out the cause of better public health.