Okay, I have a confession! It has been three years since I have been brave enough to get the flu shot! Hypocritical, I know, as health reporter...my fear, though, is that dreadful needle.
But that prick is something CHRISTUS St. Patrick nurse navigator, Kathy Haas, says does not compare to actually getting the flu. "It was seven years ago," she said, "it was the worst day of my life. I had fever, I had body aches, I could not get out of bed and it was New Year's day."
Haas learned her lesson the hard way after she neglected getting the vaccine. "I just thought it was really not that big of a deal," she said, "I just thought, well, if time permits but in our busyness, our health is usually last."
If you think it is not worth the time to get vaccinated, family medicine Dr. Rodney Acuna says flu season lasts a good seven months. "It starts in early October and ends sometime in April or May," he said.
The flu vaccine changes each year, to protect you against the changing strand of the virus. Dr. Acuna says it is safe for babies on up to the elderly. "Six months and above you basically need to get the flu shot," he said, "there's two ways to get the flu vaccination. One is through the shot and the other is the mist."
The mist is a live, weakened form of the virus. The shot is dead and that is the one I am rolling up my sleeves to get. "It's going to be a little bit of a pinch," Haas told me, "for about two seconds."
Truthfully, it was uncomfortable for a couple of seconds and my upper arm felt kind of heavy, but it really was short-lived.
Remember that it takes two weeks for the vaccine to be effective, so if you want to enjoy the holidays without the threat of flu, get the vaccination now!
The flu shot is not recommended if you have had a previous allergic reaction, are allergic to eggs or have an underlying neurological disorder. The flu mist is only recommended for those ages two to 49 and not if you are pregnant. @