Flu shot: That time of year.

I Got Shot in the Asteroid

I Got Shot in the Asteroid

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Oct. 15 2014 7:30 AM

I Got Shot in the Asteroid

flu shot
Stick in the asteroid.

Photo by Phil Plait

Once again this year I have talked the talk and walked the walk: I got my annual flu shot.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

I was hoping you’d see more of my asteroid tattoo in this picture, but what the heck. It gets the job done. As usual, the shot was painless, inexpensive, and should help my immune system do what it’s meant to do.

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Flu shots are important. Everybody’s freaking out about Ebola right now, but every year the flu kills far more people! By getting my shot, I’m doing two things: teaching my immune system how to fight off the influenza virus likely to be common this season, and also keeping me from becoming an unwitting host to the virus, able to infect others.

That’s critical. For me personally, if I get the flu the odds are I’ll be miserable for a few days and more whiny than usual. But my wife is immunocompromised, and if she gets a full-blown infection, the complications could be very serious. That’s why we get our immunizations every year. It helps build herd immunity, and that protects people who cannot get the shot and could get critically ill from the flu.

Sure, Ebola is scary, but it’s made far scarier by the media in this country that have their priorities grossly out of whack. Given how communicable influenza is, and how dangerous it is, they’re spending way too much telling you about the wrong virus.

And that’s not even including measles, pertussis, and more diseases that are making strong comebacks due largely to the anti-vaccination movement. But I’ve already been pretty clear how I feel about that.

Go talk to your board-certified provider and find out what’s best for you. And if they recommend it, go get yourself vaccinated. 

And before you ask about the T-shirt I was wearing ... did you see yesterday's post