Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Flu Vaccine Faces Unexpected Strain

Flu Shot?

My superstitious tendencies are making it very hard to make this decision. Should I get a flu shot or not this year? I have never had one before, and I also haven't had the flu since high school. Early high school. It's been over 10 years since I had the flu. This leads me to believe that either
    a) I have an immune system of steel, or

    b) I have been extremely lucky.

The last time a needle poked me at all was my most recent tetanus shot, when I was 19. A sign fell on my head, cutting me between the eyes. I still have a little dent. That was the last time I had hives too.

Allergy-prone people have overly active immune systems, but might this also mean that the immune system is very strong? What if getting the flu shot freaks out my body and I lose all my defenses? Sure, I won't get the wussy flu viruses that are contained in the vaccine this year, but the particularly virulent and deadly flu that's making the rounds right now isn't included in this year's shot!

Did you know that there was a flu epidemic in 1918 that killed mostly young people? It killed between 20 and 40 million people, most of them between the ages of 20 and 40. Scary.

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