14 October 2008

Are you allergic to chickens or eggs?

"Umm... no? Why?"

"Because the vaccination is inccubated with chickens and eggs," my cartoon-scrub-wearing nurse, prepared with juiced up needle, informed me.

BYU offers free flu vaccines for all full-time employees who use the school insurance. I figured I would take advantage of the deal, since they offered the vaccines in my building during my lunch hour.

I'm not a huge fan of needles or blood, so I distracted myself while she injected my upper right arm with the vaccine. Seconds later I was walking away with my lollipop and Bugs Bunny bandaid.

Once I got back to my office space, I began to feel the soreness in my arm, or at least started feeling paranoid about the soreness in my arm, which then moved to other bodily areas. So I looked up the CDC info on the influenza shot. Soreness is normal. Phew!

I had been a little concerned about the flu shot this year for a couple reasons. First, I JUST was out of office with a 24-hr bug. I didn't want my immune system to be overwhelmed by other pathogens. Nurse mom corrected me, though. The 24 hour bug, like other gastroenteritis problems, are often referred to as a flu but are not related to influenza. The flu vaccine actually contains three strains of inactivated respiratory viruses. So it wont give you the flu and will prevent more serious diseases, like pneumonia.

My second concern came when Scott got out of his O-chem class, an hour before my shot was to be administered. He said that every year the influenza vaccine is created by tweaking the formula from the year before. His teacher just told them that last year's formula was ineffective, so this years formula is unprecedented.

Nevertheless, I did go, and I did get a lollipop. Wikipedia says good things about this years vaccination... and as we know from The Office, Wikipedia is always right.

Time will tell if this preventative meassure is worth the effort and random soreness (not the price, since it was free).