Why I have my Flu Jab

It’s the time of year where cold and flu comes out in full force, along with the people who argue about the pros/cons of having a flu jab. I fall into ‘at risk’ categories, which means I’m eligible for a free flu jab on the NHS. Here’s why I make sure I have my flu jab every year:

  1. It helps protect against flu. Seems obvious. I had flu when I was a teenager, annoyingly right before I was due my flu jab, and it was horrible. I was off school for a week and it took another few weeks to get over it completely. There is a very small chance I might still get flu, but it would be milder and last less time than if I didn’t have my flu jab.
  2. People can die from flu. I’ve got asthma and adrenal insufficiency, which means if I got flu I’d likely be seriously ill. Having a flu jab helps me avoid that.
  3. Any reactions from the jab are better than actually having flu. I had mine this week and had a sore arm for a day. And that was pretty much it. I’ve had muscle aches in the past, but they only lasted a day, and were nothing in comparison to actually having flu.
  4. I’m not going to get flu from having the flu jab. If I get sick immediately after having it, it’s because I was already coming down with it and it’s coincidence. You *might* get a hangover from drinking alcohol or food poisoning from eating takeaway, but that doesn’t stop people from doing those things. Why would I not get my flu jab?
  5. I’m not ‘poisoning my system’. Someone said ‘how can you poison your system like that?’ to me once. I asked them if they drink alcohol, put moisturiser on their face and ate ready meals, since they all have chemicals (or ‘poisons’) in them which no one thinks twice about.
  6. I’m not ‘weakening my immune system’. The same person as above came back with ‘well you’re weakening your immune system, you should let your body fight things off itself’. I don’t know the science, but I’m pretty sure having the flu jab strengthens my immune system rather than weakens it.
  7. It might help stop flu from spreading. As a teacher, we were encouraged to get the flu jab to help stop it spreading around school.
  8. It means I’m protected if I need to go to hospital. Hospitals are full of sick people anyway, but having the jab means I’m less likely to get flu if I need to go to hospital for another reason (like adrenal crisis or asthma attack). This in itself is a big weight of my mind!
  9. It doesn’t hurt. Ok, so it hurts a bit. For about 30 seconds, and you get a bit of a stiff arm. But who can’t deal with that?!
  10. It takes about 10 minutes out of my day. I timed how long it took from getting out of my car to getting back in my car at the flu walk-in at my GP once, and it took 3 minutes. That’s pretty speedy! I had mine at the pharmacy last year, while I was collecting my prescription- how much more convenient can you get?

Plus I got a sticker! 😉

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