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More talk about flu shots

November 3, 2009 - Deb Gau
I went over to the Lyon County courthouse yesterday afternoon, and had to take a detour to one of the side entrances - the line for H1N1 flu shots for young children and pregnant women was stretching all the way from the public health office past the assessor's office and down the front steps. It was surprising, and frankly heartening, to see such a big turnout. I've been hearing a lot of people make comments that they don't think H1N1 is a big deal, and a few that flat-out don't trust vaccines.

I think those are risky attitudes to take. True, H1N1 hasn't turned into a pandemic of 1918 proportions (that we know of . . . yet). But if I understand correctly, flu viruses mutate fast and often. If there's a possibility a new strain might behave in the same way as the 1918 flu, or be as lethal, it just makes sense to be ready even if the predictions don't come true. I'm not really prepared to debate the safety of flu shots, but I think my odds of experiencing serious health problems with the disease are a lot higher than with the vaccine. Plus, vaccines only work to lower rates of infection when most of the population gets them.

Maybe if I had children to worry about keeping safe, I'd think differently. I don't know. But as of right now, I'll get the shot if I have the chance.


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