Why not get a flu shot?  In a comment on yesterday’s post (where I started off trying to convince myself that I didn’t need a flu shot this year, but ended up deciding that it would be a good idea to do it despite getting vaccinated against 2/3 of the components last year), Wren said:

I’ll get the shot when it’s available. I’ve never really understood why someone wouldn’t get it, particularly if it cost them nothing. Personally, I’ve never had any adverse reaction, I’ve never gotten “the flu” after getting the shot, and the injection itself is quick and almost painless. When I compare getting the shot to getting sick with the seasonal flu, particularly while taking meds that lower my immune response, there’s just no argument.

As one who usually comes up with excuses to skip the recommended flu shot, I think I can come up with some reasons to avoid having a needle stuck into my being.

  1. It’s not vaccine specific.  I don’t like any shots.
  2. My arm is sore enough for days afterward that I have to modify my routine.
  3. I and most of my kids are sensitive/allergic to chicken eggs.  Many vaccines are contraindicated for those with egg allergies.  We have to be watched carefully after vaccines.
  4. Last year one of my kids nearly passed out after getting a shot.
  5. One year, one of my kids started puking after getting a shot.  Ewww!  Fortunately, the garbage can was easy to grab.  That child is watched even more carefully now.
  6. I don’t have the time it would take to go get a shot.  It’s not a five-minute jab.  It’s an hour to drive there, time spent waiting in the waiting room, time spent waiting in the exam room, time spent being observed for adverse reaction afterward, then time spent travelling home.  I have to budget a minimum of three hours to go get a shot.
  7. Fuel isn’t cheap.  I don’t just pop in to the doctor’s office – or anywhere else.  I have to carefully plan trips to make sure the gas gauge isn’t sitting on empty.
  8. Skip shots to avoid being harassed by anti-vaccine folks.  Here’s part of the exchange from when I got one of my vaccines last year:

“No way I’m having someone pump that into my children’s veins.  Did you do your homework first?

Then there was my EMT friend wanting to know how I managed to score something that was in such high demand.

I’ve had anti-vaxers in the past criticize my carefully thought-out decision to protect my children from the ravages of childhood diseases.  It’s just not something I feel like dealing with all the time.  We’ll probably not announce it when we finally get our shots this year.

If you don’t want to do something, it’s easy to come up with excuses, so there are sure to be other reasons, too.   If you’ve had a bad experience, it’s even easier.

My experience with flu is worse, though, so in my house, we’ll get the shots.