flu shot woes

this whole flu shot shortage really bothers me. i’ve gotten a flu shot every year for the past 4 years, and in that time have only gotten really sick once and that was last year when i got some horrible intestinal virus that knocked me on my ass for about 2 weeks. flu shots are really important especially for those with compromised or very weak immune systems, but in a country where people increasingly lack health insurance, a flu shot may be a very big deal.

think about it, you’re working hourly, you have no sick days, and you’re barely able to pay your bills as it is. you need to go to work, regardless of how lousy you feel. let’s say you’re an incredibly underpaid daycare worker (like my aunt is) who gets no benefits, no vacation, no sick days, and you make $6.75 an hour. you go to work. the kids are sick, but they’re there because their parents, in the same situation, can’t miss work, so you pick up something from the kids. you take it home to your kids, who then take it to school, and your husband takes it to work, etc. if you had a flu shot, you probably wouldn’t get the flu in the first place, but since you didn’t, and neither did anyone else because of the incredible lack of foresight of our government officials (who i’m certain, will be getting flu shots, even if bush declared that he wouldn’t be getting one during the last debate) this nasty little virus can follow the network of personal contact dictated by daily activity.

i think this little problem really makes it apparent how utterly lax our public health “system” is – it’s virtually non-existant. the US got lucky with SARS, but our luck is going to run out sooner than later. forget about terrorist attacks – it’s nature that going to get us.

more info
*Information on the 1918 flu pandemic
*the American Experience on PBS did a special on the 1918 flu
*02/04 article from CNN – 1918 flu more “birdlike” than previously thought
*this weekend’s NYT article says, “With Few Suppliers of Flu Shots, Shortage Was Long in Making”

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4 comments
  1. jackie said:

    somehow, i’m sure, the answer to this public health “crisis” you speak of lies somewhere in the No Child Left Behind Act.

    hmmmmmm.

    aha!

    public schools have failed us, and so we have poorly paying jobs, and so no benefits, and so we must go to community college, to get a better job, with health insurance, to get a flu shot!

    now, sit down and try and deconstruct why that sentence is so wrong, and the logical fallacies with which it is replete. it’s more fun than work, i promise.

  2. Anonymous said:

    No flu shots. Plan B: Tell people to wash their hands.

    Liscel got hers last week and she said she felt bad because there she is young and healthy and able to get a flu shot (staff are required to get them or something like that) while some lady in her late 40’s was told to check back later.

  3. mike said:

    Dammit! They put mind-controlling nano-bots in flu shots! Don;t say I didn’t warn you.

    Actually, I have the opposite experience. I had flut shots from 1998 to 2001 and 2003 and got the flu soon thereafter 4 out of those 5 years… (perhaps) because I was lazy in 2002 I didn’t get the flu. I am privately glad that I will not get one this year.
    -m

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