Monday, January 15, 2018

Flu Shot Dilemma

Influenza is complicated; there is Influenza A, Influenza B and Influenza C. Usually one strain strikes at a time; here in London Influenza A and B are hitting London at the same time. In less than 2 weeks flu has killed 4 people, caused 24 outbreaks and twice the number of lab-confirmed cases.

You would think I'd be running as fast as I can to get a flu shot, but no. When Kazi was in school and I was teaching we faithfully went to get a flu shot every year. But now I don't bother and I can't remember the last time I had the flu.

Is my immune system that good? Ummm, no, it's that the flu shot is that bad!

Here's what my local newspaper had to say about this year's flu shot:
"Making things worse, the main A strain of the disease - H3N2 - wasn't a good match for this year's vaccine, while the B-strain, called Phuket (say that very carefully!) was in the vaccine for under 18 year olds but not in the vaccine for adults. 

This year's vaccines still provide some protection, but it's less than optimal." 
The London Free Press

I've been told that each year's vaccine is based on the strains of flu from the previous year even though after a year or so they've mutated into new and different strains!

And that is why I don't bother with the flu shot anymore. So far so good. I know the flu will likely catch up with me sooner or later and if it does I'll just stay home and keep my germs to myself. If only everyone would do that. I do worry a little about all the various hands and germs/bacteria that likely cover the various volleyballs I handle for 6 hours a week so I carry anti-bacterial hand gel in my backpack and my purse.
Photo - Shutterstock

Oh, and here's another tip: I recently read that being "slightly overweight" provides more protection against bugs and illness than being "slightly underweight" so here's to those extra 10 pounds! They have a purpose after all!

What about you - do you get the flu shot every year? Do you "bulk up" for winter flu season? 😝

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