Monday, May 18, 2009

Flu Vaccine

Last Saturday, my wife and i got a flu vaccine. My wife's workplace was informed of an affordable flu vaccination in UP Diliman so we checked its legitimacy and signed up to avail of the opportunity. We arrived at the venue an hour after the opening and were given numbers 44 and 45. The line was a bit long but it was also generally fast. We got our shots a little past 3 pm and i went back to work.

Vaccination is really big nowadays. When you have a new born child, chances are you will get a "baby-book" which you will use to compile your child's medical history. Every time you visit your pediatrician, the visit will be logged on the baby book plus comments written by the doctor. At the back of the baby book, is a table/list of vaccinations your child will have to undergo within a period of 2 years. If you are a first time parent and you've never heard of the disadvantages of vaccination, most especially to infants, then your objective is to complete all the vaccines required to prevent your child from getting sick. If you are more cautious and research first, then probably you won't be too much concerned on completing all the vaccines.

Vaccination has been with us since Louis Pasteur discovered the germ theory. A disease is introduced to a body externally and injected directly to a person's bloodstream. By definition, a vaccine is a preparation of viral or bacterial particles that will mimic the viruses or bacteria responsible for a disease. It is chemically prepared in a much reduced potency in order to (supposedly) be safe to inject in the body. The theory is that once present in the body, the vaccine will provide artificial immunity and not have the harmful effect of the disease itself.
According to pharmaceutical companies vaccination is:

* The main reason for the decline of infectious conditions
* The only effective method of eliminating dangerous infectious conditions
* Harmless when compared to the disease itself

Of course, not all vaccines are 100% effective. If you research more, you will get lots of information about vaccines being the cause of sickness, a new virus strain has developed to counter the vaccine, or vaccines being the cause of infant deaths. How come governments are pushing for vaccination as a major project of the health department? Is it really for disease prevention or are they just being pressured by pharmaceutical companies worldwide?

For me, the reason we got the flu shot is prevention. My wife told me it is better to have a first line of defense instead of being sick, drinking medications or worse being hospitalized. We did not include my son to the vaccine because he is too young to get the shot as advised by the doctors. Frankly, it is also a peace of mind. With so many diseases out there plus the stress and pressure of everyday work, i really can not afford to get sick.

What about you? When did you last had a vaccine? For females, have you considered the vaccine to prevent cervical cancer? I heard the price is really high and you have to get 3 shots for that.


Lucrecio Emerito said...

True, vaccines are big nowadays. I think they are important. Problem is, some viruses mutate. When they do, the immune system will not be able to recognize them and will not know how to handle them again. Also, like you said, some would cause sickness. But that's a case to case basis, I think. For the most part, though, they are helpful.

Miriam said...

It's a good thing you were able to avail free flu vaccine. Mahal ngayon 'yan.

Based on my experience being a mom of two kids, some vaccines only cause slight to moderate fever or reddish lump on the sight of the vaccination, but nothing serious as in side effects to my kids. Thank God.

Dee said...

This is so true. It's very good that you wrote about this because it's a good reminder to us to get vaccines. I'll also try to look for cheaper vaccines. Thanks for this, Lemuel.

Hope you and your family will enjoy the rest of the weekend! :D