Tea Time With Jesse

Six of One, Half Dozen the Other

Peer Pressure

Posted by middlerage on January 10, 2014

So I have kvetched before about not really liking or being impressed by the annual flu shot: I’ve become terribly sick on years I got the shot, and had totally non-sick years when I missed the shot; Also it doesn’t confer a heck of a lot of immunity (something like 67%).

But this is where our friends show their importance. Switbo pointed out that even if you get the flu, your symptoms can be less severe if you’ve had the shot, and Mark L. is constantly haranguing folks to get the shot via his FB posts. The flu shot isn’t important to me, but it is important to my friends, and my friends are important to me. Thus I girded my loins for the idiotic bureaucracy and went to get my inoculation yesterday.

I am now contributing towards herd immunity.

As an aside, even though I am often a ‘big-guvmint lib’ral’ I have to give props to industry when they do something well. My former employer is a large, private health system. Every year, they have a continuously open flu shot clinic that you don’t need to do anything but drop by when convenient. Bam! Free shot, no waiting. Under the same organization, I’ve taken my kids in for special childrens’ shot clinics, and the nurses will always say, “Dad, while you’re here do you wanna…” Bam! free shot, no questions, no handwringing. If you want to promote herd immunity take away the hoops.

Conversely, my present employer is a large, public (read guv’mint) university. Getting the “free” shot was nothing but hoops. Inconvenient clinic locations and times, reams of paperwork, and minions checking the paper work, AND my photo ID AND my insurance card. Stupid and dumb, and DOES NOT promote herd immunity.  It’s almost worth giving the corner Walgreens $25 for the convenience.

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One Response to “Peer Pressure”

  1. Mark Leisher said

    It should probably be said that not everyone responds well to these inoculations. If you personally don’t get the shots, it probably isn’t going to impact herd immunity much. My haranguing on FB is pointed at a community of anti-vaccine fools who do respond well to the shots and would benefit herd immunity if they would just lay their mantle of righteous ignorance down for a short time.

    But at the same time, you are setting an example by getting the vaccine even though it appears to bias you towards a bad bout of flu. The herd salutes you and your sacrifice!

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