• Gary Moller

Should I get a Flu Shot?

Updated: Apr 2, 2020


Flu Jab
Flu Jab

"Gary,


What is your opinion on flu shots?


They are offering flu shots for over 55 yr olds tomorrow here locally in our wee town. I am 60.

I have never had one before, not sure whether I have ever had the flu, maybe I have, but I do get bad colds about twice a year and then get sinusitis afterwards when I get over the cold (only suffered from sinus for the past 2 winters).

Regards"

(name withheld)


Gary: if your doctor considers you are in an "at-risk" population, then it may be best for you to get the seasonal flu vaccine. But, what about others?

The business which I sold in 2001 used to go into companies to give their employees the flu jab about this time each year. The flu jab was quite a recent introduction back then. Some of the larger companies were happy to pay about $18-20 per employee to have them vaccinated. We would send in a nurse with a helper and production-line the employees. It was good money. A lot of people could be processed in a couple of hours.


The seasonal flu jab is big money for medical services. It is big money for everyone involved other than we, the taxpayer who subsidise these jabs. Bear this in mind when considering the information being provided and the pressures to extend it beyond at-risk populations.

Good question and you are not the first to have asked this question in recent weeks. I won't tell you what to do, that is something you are going to have to figure out for yourself. Do your own "risk assessment". How at risk are you? Let's reframe the question:


"Gary, will you have a Flu Shot?"


I might have the jab if:


  • I had chronic health issues, especially if my lungs, heart and circulation were affected.

  • I am taking immune-weakening drugs such as blood pressure meds, steroids, asthma meds, sinus decongestants, antihistamines, cancer meds, even some birth control pills, NSAIDs and most other pain meds. Any drug that ends with "ine" on the end of the chemical name is suspect, this includes caffeine, nicotine and ephedrine, for example. Be wary of all over-the-counter, self-prescribed drugs, including recreational ones. All of the above have the potential to weaken my immune system. Do not stop any meds without first consulting your health professional.

  • I am under too much stress, not getting rest during the day and not sleeping well.

  • I am not getting plenty of Vitamin D-boosting sunlight before Winter sets. I'll be working outside later getting some midday sun.

  • I am not exercising outside each day no matter the weather (so long as I'm not wasting myself physically each day and not getting adequate recovery!).

  • I am not regularly eating some iron-rich red meat, free-range eggs, full-cream milk, yellow butter and cheese and the occasional serving of lambs fry, all sources of the immune-supporting fat-soluble vitamins (A,D,E&K).

  • I am not eating brightly coloured and dark vegetables, fruit and berries each day.

  • If I am not