Wednesday, September 9, 2009

In Search Of The Elusive Flu Shot

Don't start on me, people! You know that I get a flu shot every year. Spare me your horror stories. Twice, I have even gotten flu shots for my young 'uns. This year, I am seeking three flu shots. Petri Dish H is on his own.

I can get a flu shot at work on October 2. That's what I did last year. But I saw a commercial that Walgreens is giving flu shots, which gave me the bright idea to take my boys there. I had my personal assistant, aka my mother, call and ask about the hours, and if we needed an appointment. Au contraire! Walgreens will not give a flu shot to kids. Nope. Only the flu mist for kids 2-15. Which kind of defeats my purpose, what with seeking flu shots for my 11 and 14 year olds.

Do you know what is in the flu mist, people? LIVE virus! Yep. You take your precious child to get a flu shot to protect him from the flu, and they want to spray THE FLU up his nose. Indeed. Why would I take my child to have him catch the flu? It's not like a chicken pox party. Sure, they say it's a weakened virus. But side effects include a fever, aches, cough, runny nose, nausea. That's the freakin' FLU, people! To protect your child from catching the flu, you are expected to expose him to the live flu virus so he can catch it! That way, he builds up immunity so he won't catch the flu--which he just caught through that flu mist. Is your head spinning yet?

Anyhoo...with that option out, I asked my personal assistant to call our doctor's office. He's the ex-military doc who is always saying, "Bring your kids here. I can treat them for you." Apparently, his office personnel did not get that memo. They said he is only giving flu shots to HIS patients. So my personal assistant then called the boys' doctor, and got a machine, which is one of the reasons I hate that office, the other being that they charge insurance a specialist's fee for the nurse practitioner that they're always pawning my boys off on. After calling back several times, she got a real live person, who said they won't get their flu vaccine until the beginning of October, so call back then (several times) to make an appointment. Next, she called the County Health Center, who said they are giving flu shots at a drive through clinic tomorrow from 8:30 to 3:00, the second such shot clinic they've had, and that if any of the 400 doses are left over, they will give them at their clinic sometime in the future.

Here's the deal. Working people who are exposed to the flu and who need to work to keep this country pumpin' can not get off work to get the flu shot at those hours. But stay-homes and lay-abouts and a few night shift workers who don't value their sleepy time can get them.

I don't know why I even bother. The newest propaganda says that anybody who has had the flu recently has had the swine flu. That it's 98% of the flu virus that is circulating. So why, then, get a shot for the regular everyday garden variety seasonal flu? I'll tell you why. I can only speak for the Northern Hemisphere, but HELLO it's not the season for the seasonal flu yet. It does not generally rear its ugly head until November/December. For cryin' out loud, it has been 85 degrees this week. Of course the circulating flu is the swine flu. It has been going around all summer. And there's still that 2% that is the other flu. Take if from Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, whose Patient Zero H contracted the not-type-A influenza a couple of Mays ago. He had the blood test in the ER, and it was not the type A flu he had been vaccinated for, and he was given Tamiflu, and was over it in about four days.

So I'm back to square one, what with waiting until October 2 for my shot, and still seeking shots for my spawn. The regular flu shot. NOT the swine flu shot. With all the sickness that's been floating around school since the first full week, they've probably already had that swine flu virus up their nose. That is, if you count headache, sore throat, fever of 100.1, cough, and snot. They're over it now.

Darn that Walgreens! They're a shot tease.

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