Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Flu Shot?

I rarely get a flu shot.  About the only time that I have ever gotten a flu shot was when I went to the doctor for something else and he suggested I get one.It is just not something I ever really think about, and I rarely (knock wood) get sick.  So in all likelihood, I probably will not get one this year, especially when I saw this news story on my local news.

The story of Desiree Jennings is frightening.  Up until August, she was a healthy, active, 25 year old woman training for a half marathon and a member of the Redskins cheerleading squad.  In August, she decided to get a seasonal flu vaccination at a local grocery store.  Ten days later, she came down with flu like symptoms.  Her condition has deteriorated and now she has difficulty walking and speaking.  Her doctors say she has had a very rare reaction to the vaccine and it has brought on a neurological disorder called dystonia.

Millions will get a flu shot this year without any adverse affect.  For the vast majority of people, it is completely harmless, and I am not suggesting anybody not get a flu shot because of the case of Desiree Jennings.  I doubt that I will get one, but I would most likely not have gotten one regardless of this story.  However, as a father of an autistic son, I have read the stories of those who think all the vaccinations our kids have to get possibly contributing to the rise of autism.  As much good as vaccinations do for us as a whole, it is important to keep in mind that they are not completely void of risk.

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  1. I'm not crazy about the flu shot either. I've heard of plenty of friends who've gotten the shot and complained about the side effects.

    Likewise, I had the flu last year, and I took some time off, rested, got better, and that was it.

  2. I saw the news report on the girl as well on channel 5 news in DC.
    It goes to show you that when they say the adverse affects are 1 in 1000, well there is the one right here at home.
    I have never gotten the flu shot, I have been the type to get a mild case early on, drink a bottle of Nyquil, wrap up with a couple quilts and sweat it out, and be good as new in the morning



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