Will You Get a Flu Vaccine This Year?

Reader Contribution by Staff
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We recently asked our readers (you) whether they would be getting a flu vaccine this year, either for H1N1 (swine flu) or seasonal flu. Given the large — 924 votes! — and interesting response, we wanted to know a bit more. For reference, let’s start with the poll and results:

Q. Are you going to get a flu shot this year?

  1. No, I never do. 56% (516 votes)
  2. No, I’m worried about the side effects of vaccines. 16% (152 votes)
  3. Yes, I do every year. 18% (164 votes)
  4. Yes, I’m specifically getting the shot for swine flu (H1N1). 6% (54 votes)
  5. Yes, a seasonal flu shot, but not a swine flu shot. 4% (38 votes)

Total votes: 924

For starters, more than half of you won’t be getting a flu shot this year (which seems to match an informal poll taken around the MOTHER EARTH NEWS office). Of the 28 percent that are getting flu shots, only 6 percent plan to get the H1N1 vaccine. However, we first asked this poll two weeks ago, and in that time H1N1 has renewed it’s appearance in the media as cases are being reported around the United States, particularly, it seems, in university settings. It will be interesting to see, as flu season heats up, how these numbers shift — or don’t.

Personally, I’m not getting a flu shot (I never have), though that’s my personal decision, and not in any way a recommendation. I will be extra diligent about frequent hand washing and enjoying herbal teas (ginger, echinacea) and elderberry supplement drops. I’ll also be sure to up my veggie and fruit intake and keep the “junk” snacks to a minimum. And I will detour off the all-natural path to do a twice daily Listerine rinse. My dad swears by it. (Have you ever seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Remember the bride’s father and his faith in Windex? This will give you an idea of my dad’s feelings about Listerine. Though in all fairness, I have yet to see him actually spray it on anyone.)

Now that we’ve gotten the poll results in, I’d like to hear, in your words, whether you’re planning to get a flu shot (or have already) and why or why not. If you’re not getting a flu vaccine, what other tactics do you use to stay healthy and flu-free during the fall and winter?

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