Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Publish Day - Ink Blog - Flu Shot

Here's the first entry of the fourth "wave" or "flight" of Ink Blog column entries that I publish every two or three weeks in the London Free Press.

I wrote this after hearing from yet another person how he absolutely couldn’t be bothered to get his flu shot this year. He said he hated needles, and never gets sick anyway. As if to convince us that everyone else is nuts, he finished off by saying every time he’s ever had a shot in his life, he’s gotten sick.

Um, right.

I suspect he was simply afraid of getting a needle – most overly-macho men typically overcompensate on the excuses when trying to justify their refusal to roll up their sleeves. But I frankly didn’t have the energy to argue with him.

So I published it in the paper instead:

Don’t fear flu shot as vital season nears

Published Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The London Free Press

I’ve never much liked birds. Try to pet them and they peck your finger. Forget to lock their cages and they fly away. Park under a tree and they’ll happily redecorate your car.

This year, it appears birds can kill us, too.

Headlines warn of an impending avian flu pandemic. Chickens in Europe and elsewhere are being methodically destroyed as officials try to keep the deadly infection from spreading.

This coincides with the advent of our annual flu season. Already, doctors everywhere are gearing up to deliver vaccinations to those unafraid of a little needle prick.

I’m under no illusion that my regular flu shot will protect me from the avian, or bird, strain.

But I remember Toronto’s SARS experience well. Ignoring a public health crisis, wherever it is, significantly increases our chance of becoming victims.

Proactive health management must start at home. We’re all at risk if our neighbours fail to pay attention.

You can never be too prepared. Please get your flu shot, and stay home – and alone – if you don’t.



panthergirl said...

See, I have sort of a different take on the flu shot thing. I think we have to make sure there's enough vaccine IF the avian flu becomes a genuine crisis, and since the drug company isn't allowing generic manufacture of it, we could easily run out.

I also think that the young and the elderly probably are most at risk when it comes to flu, so middle aged me shouldn't waste the vaccine.

Plus, a person in my office became deathly ill after her shot one year, and it has scared the bejeezus out of me.

I don't know... maybe I should do it.

here by way of michele today!

ribbiticus said...

i am a great believer in preventive vaccination. this is all the more important now as all signs point to an impending avain flu epidemic. all it takes is for governments to disseminate information correctly so that everyone is educated and enlightened. :)

kenju said...

I get my flu shot every year. The same flu shots we get on a regular basis are not the same ones we would need for bird flu, are they?

OldLady Of The Hills said...

Because of certain health issues, I no longer get the flu shot, BUT, I barely leave the house so as to avoid being around people who might be sick or might be getting sick--with anything! It's what I have to do for my own well being. I'm certainly not advocating this method for others though. I would get the shot,if I could...well, at least I think I would....

Leanne said...

I believe that those at risk should get the vaccination. Those who do not have a history of getting the annual flu viruses that sweep the nation should not waste vaccines that could go to someone who does need it.

I've never had the flu, I've never had a vaccination. If I were prone to it, I would get vaccinated. I just have a stronger immune system, and that works for me.

Now if there were vax for upper respiritory infections, I'd be all over it! :D

Michele sent me.

Janet said...

I never got a flu shot either. At least I dont think I ever have. I just always thought we saved the flu shot supply for the sickly and elderly.

Plumkrazzee said...

My son was in a coma, and on life support last Christmas for 3 days after being bit by the lil' ole flu bug. I have seen first hand what it can do to you body, even when you aren't sick or elderly. He is now the first one in line. There's a reason people say hindsight is 20/20. Get the shot, people.