A head-up from Maynard
The flu is pretty unpleasant. I usually get a flu shot just on general principle, although I’m not sure if it does me any good. I’d want to know the real numbers: The likelihood of contracting the flu with and without the shot. If there’s one chance in five that getting the shot saves me a case of the flu, it’s worth it. If it’s one chance in fifty, then I’d skip it.
But I guess that question has no general answer. Among other things, your susceptibility will be affected by your personal health and your social contacts. If you’re sickly and cross paths with a lot of unhygienic slobs, then a flu shot is probably an excellent idea. If you live in a lighthouse or Mom’s basement and never go out, then maybe not.
The minor adverse reactions to getting jabbed varies from person to person. Personally, my biggest frustration is the muscle soreness. My sleep is disrupted for a couple of nights, because I can’t roll over without pain in my arm.
That’s why the introduction of intradermal shots caught my eye. These inject into the skin rather than the deeper muscle. They also inject less fluid.
If you want to get the innoculation and you’ve been troubled by muscle soreness or fear of needles, then look into these newfangled intradermal shots. They’re approved for people up to age 64.
For further information, see this article. The intradermals are widely available now; I got the treatment at my local CVS MinuteClinic. It costs about $5 more than the conventional shot, which I’m gladly willing to pay.
My personal report, 36 hours after receiving the shot, is that there is some mild swelling and pinkness around the injection point, but there has been none of the pain of the conventional vaccination.
There has been some discussion that we we may soon have a universal flu vaccine, and then we won’t have to do this every year. But until that happens, here we are.
(I know there are a few people out there that are disinclined to get vaccinated, and I don’t want to start an argument with you. I’m just laying out the options.)