Preparing For the Flu Season


It’s getting near that time again where you roll up your sleeve and prepare for flu season. But, fear not because Zorba has some recommended reading for you about influenza and vaccinations from our friends over at the CDC. And if that’s not enough, here’s Zorba’s take:

When I was young and reckless I said all of the time, “I don’t need the flu vaccine. I never get it, and if I do, I’m strong enough to just take it on the chin.” But alas, those days are gone because about 15 years ago I got it. (Now granted, I was not young in my 40s and I was not reckless – perhaps not “as” reckless – but I was a bit too cavalier with my attitude towards the flu.)

I had not gotten vaccinated and I was working as a physician! Hard to believe that I could make a silly decision, but yes I too suffer from that most human of problems: denial.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Since that time I have always gotten my yearly flu shot. I am absolutely convinced if this was a one time pill that you took, or a vitamin –such as Vitamin C — then everybody would take it. The issue is the shot. We just don’t like shots.

We don’t like them because they hurt. And what is the one shot most of us have gotten in our lives that we associtate with pain: the Tetanus shot. It is an irritant and hurts for a day or two after it’s given. Flu shots, on the other hand, do not cause discomfort for more than 95% of us (and that’s good enough for me).

Others will argue, “Well I got the flu anyway.” Actually, we can’t easily tell the flu from the common upper respiratory infection commonly known as a cold. And at any one time 1 to 2% of us are going to have a cold. And if we get that cold after our shot, we simply blame the shot. In fact, very few people (2 to 3% do have symptoms, and again, that number is low enough for me)have systemic symptoms after a flu shot.

So all in all – get vaccinated, especially if you’re at risk. And if you’re lucky like me you won’t get it until your mid 40s, but don’t count on it.