It’s that time again….Halloween stores, pumpkin patches, no more hot summer days (except in Southern California)… and flu shots! It’s a mad flurry of activity in the clinic with nurses trying to get every patient flu shots on top of all the other orders they have. If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, go and get one!
Here are some common misconceptions about the flu:
1. It’s no big deal.
Part of the reason people don’t get so worked up about it is because the flu vaccine works, and more people don’t get it. But sadly, tens of thousands of people still die each year from flu-related complications. Most of these deaths are in adults over 65 years. The very wee are at risk as well.
2. I’m a strappin’ young lad, the flu won’t affect me.
Maybe. But the world does not revolve around you my friend. Chances are you live with young kids or older folks, or you have friends with asthma, diabetes, or other chronic diseases that can be made worse if they get sick. While the flu might just inconvience you for a time, you can easily pass it to someone who won’t be so fortunate.
3. The flu shot gives me the flu.
Most flu vaccines do not contain live flu virus so the flu shot does not give people the flu. You might feel sore, maybe a little off, but that’s just the body’s immune system mounting a response to the flu shot. And trust me, that’s nothing compared to what you will feel like if you actually got the flu, so it’s a small price to pay.
4. I’ll just get the flu shot when everyone starts getting sick.
It’ll be too late. It takes about 2 weeks for the body to make the antibodies to protect you from the flu.
5. Flu shot is unnatural, God doesn’t want me to use that stuff.
I think this will be a post on its own, but I will just briefly say that people who believe solely in healing prayer and will not accept medical intervention are misguided in their beliefs. While I commend their faith, a God who heals and a God who gifts people with the intellect and ability to bring about healing are not exclusive. We don’t wait in faith for food to appear, we work to produce it or make money to buy it with the gifts that God has given us (although there are times we can pray for God’s provision, again not exclusive).
Sin is a corruption not of just the spiritual, but the physical as well, and I believe God has given us the gift of medicine to combat the consequences of sin and give us a glimpse of the kingdom to come where there will be no more sickness and death. Yes there have been abuses in medical advancement, but that’s the case for every other good thing God has given us.
So with that, I hope you will all make an appointment with your doctor or go to your nearest pharmacy and get your flu shot (unless there’s a reason you can’t)! Here’s to a flu-free flu season.