Getting a flu shot, ’tis the season

January 22, 2013

A long number of weeks have passed with various flus and bronchitis and other hits keeping friends and family members out of the flow of work and fun. I was surprised as I asked my undergraduates last week how many had gotten the flu shot. About half have done so. So I asked the students in my graduate seminar. None had. Wow.

Then they asked me, “Why do you do it?”

Easy. Affordable. Protects me. Protects you.

“Why don’t you do it?” I asked them.

I don’t ever get the flu. I got the shot once and it gave me the flu. Takes too much time to go do it.

Ahh. So we talked a bit about the concept of ‘public’ in public health, transmission of the flu virus and so on. And we talked about how they make the flu vaccine to refute the notion that the vaccine could give them the flu. And then we talked about how much time it would take to be sick when they really didn’t need to be.

I guess the challenge remains even with a relatively educated audience to overcome perceived barriers to relatively simple practices to promote the public’s health. No one said they had a needle phobia. No one said they were allergic to eggs. In short, I didn’t really hear any reasons why they weren’t getting the flu shot that I felt couldn’t be addressed with communication relatively easily.  

So I hope if you have gotten the shot, and many of us have, that you encourage others to do so, hopefully making it a shorter flu season for us all.

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One Response to “Getting a flu shot, ’tis the season”

  1. Top 30 Public Health Blogs of 2012 says:

    […] 12. Talking About Health is all about communication when it comes to health related issues. The blog gives people advice, not just on how to live a healthy life, but also on the constructive ways to talk about health with people you care about, so that you can help them live a healthy life as well. Highlight: Getting a Flu Shot, ‘tis the Season […]

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