H1N1, Seasonal Flu Vaccine...Who's Getting It?

By: Christine Kennedy
By: Christine Kennedy

This year, the flu virus is taking center stage in the news. Is it all being blown out of proportion...or is the threat something we all need to take very seriously?

Ever since I worked at a Montessori School in High School, I've been getting a flu shot.  I never felt the need to before, but being around a bunch of 3 to 5 year old's can quickly usher a community of germs into a persons world.  That year, after being subjected to runny noses, coughing, sneezing and kids forgetting to wash their hands...surprisingly I didn't get sick.

So the next year when I went to college I got the flu shot again...couldn't hurt I thought!  I may have missed one or two shots every year since then, but overall I've been pretty diligent about getting the shot.  I had heard the statistics about being dying from the flu and so on, but my main goal was to obviously stay healthy so I could work and not have to spend a few days in bed miserable with the flu.  There have been years that I've gotten the shot and still got flu like symptoms, but they weren't as severe and I recovered quickly.

This year I definitely plan to get my seasonal flu shot..in fact I should really try to knock that out this weekend! But then comes the news of the "swine flu" or H1N1 strain which is apparently a lot tougher to fight.  Experts say that the best way to prevent from getting this strain of the virus is to wash your hands, cover your mouth...and so on.  I wash my hands so much so in the wintertime that they actually get really dry from all the washing...I'll put lotion on but then need to wash my hands again...and so the cycle continues.  Just this past year I discovered a wonderful thing called hand sanitizer WITH lotion.  That stuff is in my car and my purse...at my desk at work....I'm not messing around! 

Every Monday when I come back to my desk at work, I wipe my cubicle down with Clorox wipes...and offer them to my co-workers too.  You just never know what people can pick up.

So anyway, this year there's this swine flu situation..and the big question is...should I get the shot?  I'm not under 18 or a senior citizen...I'm not pregnant...so if there is enough of the vaccine to go around (after the first few rounds) should I roll up my sleeves and get the vaccine? Honestly, I haven't made up my mind yet. Maybe that sounds silly to some...I guess I'll just have to wait and see if there is enough vaccine left in the first place! 

What do you plan to do? And how seriously are YOU taking this new strain of the flu?

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