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Flu shot are here again

It is time to get our Flu shots.

“But I get sick every time I get my flu shot”

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard this.

First of all, what do we mean when we say “the flu”? This word means so many different things. People say they got the flu when they mean they have a cold. People say they got the stomach flu when they mean they have vomiting and diarrhea. There are of course hundreds of different viruses and bacteria that can cause us to get sick. But the “FLU SHOT” protects against one virus only called influenza. This real influenza, for which we get immunized each year, is a very serious virus and can be deadly to the very young and the very old.

So when you get your flu shot, you are getting bits and pieces of broken up influenza virus that is not live anymore and cannot cause a person to get “the flu”. Now as a coincidence, a person may get there flu shot then come down with some other infection. This should not be confused with their flu shot causing them to get sick.

Why do we have to get immunized every year?

Influenza virus mutates every year. Last years version of the influenza virus mutated up here in the northern hemisphere and was re-made into a new flu shot for the folks down in the southern hemisphere during their winter that just ended. Our new flu shot which just came in is made from the influenza virus that mutated down there 6 months ago. And so it goes year after year. Ours is made from theirs and theirs is made from ours. The more often a person gets their flu shot the more likely to have good immunity against the real influenza virus when exposed.

So get your flu shots! When you have been in public, make sure to wash your hands before eating or rubbing your eyes or picking your nose.