We've done this every fall for probably the past 20 years.
I think we were scared into it. I remember seeing something on the History Channel about the great flu pandemic of 1918 that infected something like 500 million people worldwide, and killed nearly 100 million of them.
I was learning about this pandemic about the same time that I was getting information from my television that the young and the elderly were the most susceptible to possibly dying from the flu and that it would be wise to get your shot now. That PSA was often accompanied by a video of a crying baby — or a smiling grandmother — getting a hypodermic needle in the arm.
|I'm not sure if this is an effective campaign picture for getting a flu shot.|
Every now and then, our places of employment would offer a flu shot clinic, bringing in a nurse to needle us, or we could go to the county health department.
The last two years, we've gone to our family physician for our shots. This year, I was a little uneasy while sitting in the waiting room. We'd made an early morning appointment and I didn't expect to see many people there. On the contrary, there was a steady procession of folks walking in and walking out the door — presumably, for their flu shots.
There were a few children among them. The kids were sniffling and coughing, and I'm thinking, great, I probably need some kind of shot to protect me from the waiting room. I swear I could see the microbes and viruses flying through the air as we waited.
In due time, our names were called and we got our shots. The whole process took maybe 5 minutes. I felt like I was dong my bit in fighting germ warfare.
Nevertheless, we promptly went home and disinfected ourselves.
What has almost always amused me are the excuses some of my adult friends — who should know better — have for not getting a flu shot. Some say they'll just take their chances and others claim they actually got the flu after having had a shot once in their childhood, although doctors say this is impossible because the vaccine is not infectious (see here.)
Personally, I think they're just afraid to get stuck by a needle.