Jab Or Shot: The Message Is The Same

As I dutifully sat in my local minute clinic receiving a flu shot, I concentrated on two things: the chatter my pharmacist so thoughfully provided to distract me from the actual injection and why I was doing this. Once back home, I casted around on the internet for some kind of cogent explanation and stumbled upon this article from England’s Department of Health. I’ve only provided the relevant parts of the article, but the URL is at the end of the article should you want to read it in its entirity.

A couple of notes before you start reading: unfortunately, the vaccinaton is not free here in the states (the UK has socialized medical care) and the English call a shot “a jab.”

Seasonal flu vaccination: Who should have it and why

September 5, 2011

What is seasonal flu?

Seasonal flu occurs every year, usually in the winter. It’s a highly infectious disease caused by a number of flu viruses. The most likely viruses that will cause flu each year are identified in advance and vaccines are then produced to closely match them. As with most seasonal flu vaccines, this year’s vaccine will protect against three
types of flu virus.

Isn’t flu just a heavy cold?

No. Colds are much less serious and usually start gradually with a stuffy or runny nose and a sore throat.

How do I know when I’ve got flu?

Flu symptoms hit you suddenly and sometimes severely. They usually include fever, chills, headaches and aching muscles, and you can often get a cough and sore throat at the same time. Flu is caused by viruses and not bacteria, so antibiotics won’t treat it.

What harm can seasonal flu do?

People sometimes think a bad cold is flu, but having flu can be much worse than a cold and you may need to stay in bed for a few days if you have flu. Some people are more susceptible to the effects of seasonal flu. For them it can increase the risk of developing more serious illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia, or can make existing conditions worse. In the worst cases, seasonal flu can result in a stay in hospital, or even death.

Am I at greater risk from the effects of seasonal flu?

Even if you feel healthy, you should definitely consider having the free seasonal flu vaccination if you have:

  • a heart problem
  • a chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including bronchitis or emphysema
  • a kidney disease  (Gail here: I bolded and italicized this for obvious reasons.)
  • lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (such as steroid medication or cancer treatment)
  • a liver disease
  • had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
  • diabetes
  • a neurological condition, for example multiple sclerosis (MS) or cerebral palsy
  • a problem with your spleen, for example sickle cell disease, or you have had your spleen removed.

Don’t wait until there is a flu outbreak this winter: contact your GP or practice nurse now to get your seasonal flu jab.

Here’s the URL for this article:


On the book front, the “Look Inside This Book” feature is now functional and (hopefully if the formatting is not corrupted during the process) the book will be availabe in digital form on Amazon.com tomorrow.

Until next week,

Keep living your life!

Published in: on October 17, 2011 at 8:02 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Very informative and well written post will share finding with friends.

    • Thanks for the kudos, Kirk. I’m hoping to reach all the newly diagnosed who are as frightened as I was.

  2. Thanks for the useful, informative information about the flu shot. Everyone should read this!

    • Aha! So Libre is about more than its product. Nice to hear from you, it’s been a long time. Thanks for endorsing the message of the blog.

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