Last year, for the first time in eight years, I didn’t get my flu shot. I was busy with mid terms and essays and I ended up putting it off. Well, two flus, one case of strep throat, and innumerable colds later I realized that maybe I should have got my flu shot. It all started with a kids birthday at an indoor playland, a cesspool of virus. Three days later, I became more closely acquainted with my toilet than I would have ever liked to be. From there my immune system never had a chance to recover before I was inundated with strep and then the common cold.
Do you remember the presentations in high school about the dangers of gateway drugs and how they can lead to more …well the flu is my gateway virus. If I catch a flu at the wrong time, my immune system simply doesn’t have a chance to rebuild before the next seasonal virus attacks.
There are a lot of people out there that swear by yearly flu shots, but there are also a lot of people who swear against them. As I’ve previously mentioned, I am not a biologist, nor am I a student of any science. With this in mind I thought I should refer to some people who actually have some credentials behind their names which qualifies them to speak authoritatively about the validity and importance of seasonal flu shots.
Enter The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. The ministry’s Flu Website has a whole section for those who are undecided about whether or not they should be getting their flu shot. They even have this great little video “You and the Flu” that brings the science speak of the medicine behind the flu vaccine down to a level that even I, a person with no training in biology or science, can understand. The ministry’s website also has videos which deal with vaccine safety issues and concerns.
U of T Health Services will be holding their flu clinics from 1:00pm-5:00pm on November 9, 16 & 30 and from 10:00am-4:00pm on November 10, 17 & December 1. You can get more information about booking an appointment for the flu clinic on Health Services flu clinic page.
Ultimately, the decision to get or not get the flu shot is a personal one. I know that I simply don’t have the time this year to be sick. I’ll be getting my flu shot next week.
Photo used with permission under Wikipedia’s creative commons licence.