To vaccinate or not to vaccinate – that is the question
I was debating the pros and cons of the flu jab the other day with a work colleague – she was for, I was against. Her reasoning was that we work in an environment where we deal with the masses on a daily basis. The reason they seek out our services generally is because they are riddled with bacteria, bugs, viruses, lumps, bumps, breaks, parasites, sores, wounds, infections etc. Then there are the visitors of the infectious and sick who bring a plethora of diseases into the hospital. All spreading and sharing with the unsuspecting. Therefore, we will be exposed to all number of new bugs that our bodies are not immune to. Her argument made sense – protect yourself against such an assault as much as possible, and in doing so protect those you work with. Apart from that it was a free vaccination. My defence for the nays was, of course, less rational. One of my elderly relatives, who was in her 80’s and had been in reasonable health ever since I had known her , had firmly refused all offers of the flu vac for many years. She maintained that it could actually do more harm than good. One year she finally decided to get vaccinated and promptly went down with a low grade bout of flu and, according to the family legend, never really got over it. Some of my relatives attribute her decline in health and eventual demise to that change of heart. If this was indeed true, it could be that my aunt was in a minority of people who suffer adverse effects from a vaccination – but I was not about put it to the test, even if it was free.
Four days later I came down with a high temperature and flu symptoms which turned into a chest infection. Five days on I dragged myself out of bed and down to the doctors to beg for some antibiotics. Being a new employee of a mere 2 weeks before I was struck down I have no sickness allowance and any belief that I am a reliable, hard working, over achiever my new work colleagues may have had has gone down the proverbial plug hole. To add insult to injury it cost me 79 dollars for a doctor’s appointment to obtain a sick note and prescription for drugs (another 15 dollars). Suddenly the flu vaccine seems like a great