I couldn’t resist this picture. Thanks to @EpiRen for tweeting: Someone posted this outside my cube: on Twitpic
Despite being a lifelong non-smoker, in the past few years every single sniffle has degenerated into really nasty acute bronchitis. Therefore I will be getting my ‘flu jab as soon as this season’s batch is ready, with the usual side effect that it may sting a bit because my GP, lovely guy though he is, is bloody awful at doing injections.
That’s the biggest danger you’re likely to run with an influenza vaccination: it doesn’t give you ‘flu, cause autism, ADHD, dyslexia, or whatever. It doesn’t even make you fart uncontrollably during boring speeches, where’s the fun in that? OK, since it’s grown on hen’s eggs it can’t be given to anyone severely allergic to them. If that bothers you, and it probably should, then try donating to research so that a better way of making the vaccines can be found (see Harpocrates Speaks: Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is for examples).
However, let’s assume you’re all up to date with your vaccines. Do you have a pet animal? Does it go outside? Did you get it vaccinated as well?
There are some extremely nasty – and expensive – animal diseases going around, most of which can be prevented with a simple annual vaccination. These include respiratory diseases, but also 100% killers like rabies and the feline equivalent of AIDS (FIV), both of which are transmitted through wounds. A cat with FIV has a maximum life expectancy of 5 years, according to my vet. During those 5 years, the animal will require monthly treatment.
If that little ball of fur (or great big floppy-jowled drooling thing, YMMV) is the apple of your eye, make sure its vaccinations are up-to-date. You’ll also be protecting yourself and your family.
If you don’t care enough about your pet to get it vaccinated, you shouldn’t have one.