A Shot of Flu

Georgia’s governor is promoting flu vaccines by getting one himself.

I am dubious about these vaccines: when I asked my UK doctor about them, he told me that there are thousands of strains of the flu each year. There’s no guarantee that the vaccine you get will protect you against the most prevalent strain that year.

And of course, the vaccine that people really want this year — the one that would allegedly protect against H1N1 — won’t be ready until next month.

A cynic would say that my British GP’s reluctance to vaccinate against the flu is the result of stinginess from the NHS — why pay to vaccinate the entire public there?

But another cynic would say that the makers of the vaccines are making a lot of money off the flu-paranoid public here in the US.

I’ve gotten about twenty emails from my neighborhood parents’ group, all which suggest that families get the flu vaccine as a matter of course every year.

I am scarred by an incident a co-worker in New York several years ago: she got the vaccine, then came down with the flu. That seemed unpleasant on so many levels that I swore them off for a while.

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