Wondering about a flu shot?

» Posted by on Oct 5, 2012 in Health | 0 comments

I’ve gotten a flu shot every year for about six years. I didn’t get the flu any one of those years. Last year I forgot to get one, and around February I was laid up for about a week, moaning and sniffling and shuffling sadly into my kitchen every hour or so to make toast or tea or to grab a little container of pudding, the only three things I could manage to keep down. Totally, totally un-fun.

It’s now that time of year when flu shots are available to the general public. Check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Q & A regarding flu shots. Lots of good info here, including what a flu shot is exactly, what the possible side effects are, and a link to find the closest place in your area to get one: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/flushot.htm

You can of course get one at your doctor’s office, and it’s not a bad idea to ask your doctor if he or she recommends one for you. After all, your doctor knows your full health history.

Your health this flu season may not be the only thing to consider, however. In my Internet research, I have found that the flu vaccine is likely tested on animals, like many many other vaccines and medications. And if you are a vegan, you would have the additional concern that the flu vaccine may contain some egg protein. (This is of course also a concern if you have an egg allergy.) I don’t have an egg allergy but I am a vegetarian and I have been considering cutting eggs from my diet for compassion reasons. I was planning on getting a flu shot this weekend but now I have to give it a good think. It is true I wouldn’t hesitate to take a medication if I was very sick, even if it was tested on animals, so how do I feel about a preventive vaccine?

After reading the CDC recommendations above and checking out other sites online, what do you think? Are you getting a flu shot this year?

— Jennifer

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