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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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?!
- 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! 😉