For years now, Joan and I have been getting our annual flu shots. A way back we got them one night a year when our doctor would set aside one evening for all his patients to come in for their free flu shots. That worked out real well, until he decided that after treating us sickies for many years, he would like to retire. I suppose he is entitled the same as the rest of us.
After that we would go over to our local Co-Op and wait outside often due to the crowds and get our shots. Then Co-Op decided for whatever reason, that they never disclosed, they were not going to deliver the free flu shots anymore. So, the Province of Alberta, being what it is, took on the job, and since then they have had a system that worked OK at best. It was long line ups, usually some distance from home, and it seemed like more of an ordeal.
Today, one can drop in to just about any pharmacy, and you can get it done there. While you wait! It is quick, you are in and after a short wait to make sure you are not going to black out, you are done and on your way home. We did it as described above, and speaking with the pharmacist, he said that the province was trying to make the program more convenient, and at the same time reduce the lines at the clinics. I think it is working, but the provincial newspaper ads have not mentioned that shots were going to be available at drug stores. Typical government operation, too many bureaucrats involved and not enough people to make sure the patients know what is happening.
At the same time this is happening, the AHS (Alberta Health Service) is bemoaning the fact that they only get about 1/2 the population vaccinated each year. I would think that if you wanted more people protected, tell the people what the benefits are, what the risks are, and when and where you can get the free shots. That make sense to you? Does to me.
Like all vaccinations, the risks are almost negligible and the benefits are huge. The vaccination process is quick, and while it is not 100% it is very close. You will be protected from the strains you were vaccinated with, and even if you are unfortunate to get a bout of it, you may not even notice it, since it will be reduced in impact.
I recall that when our old doc was giving these shots out, he was careful to point out that flu vaccinations were extremely cost effective, and it was much cheaper to provide the shots for free, than to treat sick people. Old people and small children are all vulnerable, and in these groups fatalities are somewhat common. As for risks, there are none really, unless you are allergic to eggs, and you might get a reaction.
There was a letter in the Calgary Herald a few days ago, where a woman wrote in that she had her flu shot a few years ago, and was deathly sick for a year. Somehow her shot, she claimed contained mercury. She never explained how that happened, but she was never going to get a shot again. She may have got mercury from something, but I seriously doubt she got it from the shots. I think the newspaper was in error in not vetting the ladies letter, since this kind of nonsense will only feed a few hysterical people into becoming deniers of vaccinations.
I have never had the flu, such as we are exposed to today, but I likely had it as a child. My Dad came down with Dengue Fever, while we were living in Bermuda, and Dad was a very sick guy for several days. Dengue is a distant cousin to Malaria as I seem to recall.
We have yet another problem with the flu shots in Alberta. It seems that the medical professionals are rather lax in getting them, even though they are carriers for several days prior to any symptoms showing up. Now that give me real good feelings about these carriers treating people who are vulnerable.
I guess I should not have expected a lot more from them, since I have seen the health care workers, nurses, doctors and all, who sit outside the hospital and enjoy? a cigarette! Often these same people are not simply overweight, they are obese! The next minute they are telling people to quit smoking and to lose weight! Kind of like when you were a kid, “Do as I say, not do as I do” said Dad. Remember?
So go and get your flu shot, get protected, and it may save your life. It will sure protect you from a very serious illness. It is absolutely painless, takes only a few minutes, and you are good for the year.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Have a Great Day, and be nice to one another.