Flu Shot – Should or Shouldn’t?


There is something refreshing about the start of a new year. It is a chance to put things behind us and start anew. On January 1st, many of us develop this overwhelming sensation to make changes that will bring about better health, improved relationships, and successful endeavors. We go into the New Year with great enthusiasm and high expectations of what will come about from our newly committed promises to ourselves, our families, and to our employer.

We start with good intentions, but often our good intentions hit a bump in the road that takes us off course for a while.  One of those bumps can be the flu. Think about it. January is right in the midst of the flu season and many of us are struck down by it just as we begin to make those all important changes in our lives. Right off, we can become bedridden and discouraged.

Well, at HG Logistics LLC, a third party logistics company and freight transportation broker located in Cincinnati, Ohio, our manager decided he was not going to take the chance of his employees getting sidetracked by the flu. Therefore, on January 10, 2013, after hearing report after report about how the flu is going to strike in epidemic proportions this year, he announced that he was going to pay for everyone in the company to get a flu shot.

Some of the employees jumped right on this offer and went immediately down to the health center for their shots. However, there are a few skeptics like me who are not sure they want to get a flu shot. I have never had the flu shot, mostly because of the stories I have heard where people claim they contracted the flu right after getting the shot.

Nevertheless, I was not going to dismiss the idea right away. I decided to research the pros and cons and get some medical advice from the experts. My research uncovered the following information:

  • The flu vaccine can’t give you the flu. The vaccine is made from a severely weakened form of the flu virus, which cannot give you influenza.
  • This year’s shot has three times the protection: Not only will it help protect against the H1N1 virus strain, but it also includes protection against lesser strains thought possible in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • You don’t have to have it administered through a needle. You can choose the nasal spray flu vaccine.
  • Many companies offer free flu shots. (HG Logistics LLC included in this category)
  • You can stay healthy and avoid having to use up sick days.
  • It may not be safe for you if you are allergic to eggs. The vaccine is made from the cultivated insides of chicken eggs.
  • It is not 100% guaranteed to keep you from getting the flu.
  • Protection is not immediate: It takes about 2 weeks for the vaccine to really kick in and take effect.
  • The flu vaccine can contain small amounts of mercury, which helps preserve the vaccine. Mercury has been linked to certain brain and nerve disorders.
  • There can be side effects: Some people develop symptoms ranging from soreness and swelling at the injection spot to low-grade fever and achiness.

** Abbate, Emily. “10 Flu Shot Pros & Cons to Help Decide If It’s For You.” Healthy Living: 10/15/2012.

The above data was informative, but it was not enough to convince me to get the flu shot. I have gone 52 1/2 years without ever having one, so I am going to continue to take my chances and hope my luck does not run out. As for my co-workers, about half were vaccinated.

I guess only time will tell if I made the right decision. Hopefully, I won’t be writing my next blog from my sick bed, and hopefully, I will still be on pace to accomplish all my goals for 2013.

What about the rest of you? Are you going to get your flu shot?

HG Logistics LLC is a third party logistics company and freight transportation broker located in Cincinnati, Ohio. For more information please contact us by phone: (877) 574-4744, (513) 244-3026 or e-mail: [email protected].