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Is it selfish to get a flu shot if you're not in a high risk group?

The news is almost cheerfully reporting on flu shot shortages around the country.  (cheerfully as in that same excitement they get every time there's a shooting or natural disaster).  Speaking as someone whose entire family spent the last 2 weeks of December dealing with it, and got through it just fine with DayQuil and Advil, is it selfish for people who are not young children, elderly or otherwise in a risk group due to profession or medical reasons to get shots, when there might not be enough to go around for people who are in those groups?

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Asked by NotPanicking at 7:38 PM on Jan. 11, 2013 in Politics & Current Events

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (26)
  • Knowing this,yes

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 7:39 PM on Jan. 11, 2013

  • Hmmm, good question. I know that we've been known to reserve the shots for people in high risk groups and not give them out to others for the very reasons you state.

    The flu does make you miserable and you'll likely miss at least a full week's work if you get it but you won't likely die from it if you're not in one of the high risk groups. So, if there is truly a shortage then, yes, it might be a tad selfish to get one if it keeps someone high risk from having that opportunity

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 7:41 PM on Jan. 11, 2013

  • If there's a shortage, yes. I haven't gotten vaccinated for it but I never do. I never make the kids get it either. We always manage to come out of flu season unscathed, with maybe one or two nasty colds. Knock on wood!

    Answer by tnm786 at 7:44 PM on Jan. 11, 2013

  • Never thought of it but yeah it is selfish if this is in your community. I aven't gotten one (now that I say this I have jinxed myself and will get the flu) but my boys and husband have theirs (Husband had to get his for work)

    Answer by cassie_kellison at 7:48 PM on Jan. 11, 2013

  • Nope I got mine months ago. There was no shortage. But why should they make more than the demand indicated? People run as soon as the news starts reporting outbreaks and shortages. Are these the same people who disdained to get them less than a month ago?
    If I was one that would be rushing out now at the last minute, I doubt I would care as long as I got mine, but I am not that person so........
    The outcry like in years past is going to be loud and long about the selfish drug industry. It never is about those who do not think ahead.

    Answer by Dardenella at 8:01 PM on Jan. 11, 2013

  • When there's a shortage, yes. I've never gotten a flu shot, but considered it for the first time after hearing the news reporting over and over about how terrible this year's flu is and that the shot this year is actually for the right strain. I doubt we will though, especially with a shortage.

    BTW, do you guys know what they consider to be "high risk", as far as ages of kids?

    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 8:04 PM on Jan. 11, 2013

  • My family never gets the flu shot. We rearly get sick. My youngest who is 4 does since this year. Last year she was hospitalized for influenza and pneumonia and because of her asthma it was kicking her butt even more. This year is probably the first year that I've been sick but day and Advil are working fine for me. As sick as I am I still won't get it next year. if I were not healthy enough yes but I don't see the point in it. So knowing their are shortages yes it would be selfish of me to get a shot when a young child or the elderly need it more.

    Answer by skinnyslokita at 8:04 PM on Jan. 11, 2013

  • BTW, do you guys know what they consider to be "high risk", as far as ages of kids?

    The last report I saw on the news tonight said under school age.

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 8:08 PM on Jan. 11, 2013

  • So in theory, a 7 year old and 10 year old should handle the flu just fine, right? Did flu shots even exist years ago when we were all school age? I don't remember anyone ever talking about them.

    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 8:10 PM on Jan. 11, 2013

  • I think anyone with a pulse is high risk and susceptible to the flu. My daughter and I got a flu shot in September and when my entire family came down with the flu these past few weeks, she didnt even get a sniffle. She has asthma and I was trying to be "brave" and get it with her. Having dealt with my son being the sickest I have ever seen him, I will be getting flu shots every year for everybody. I really thought he was going to have to be hospitalized and if a flu shot may or may not work, I want to feel like I did what I could to prevent or lessen his chance of 104 degree fevers. I will never again feel that since we rarely get sick that we don't need a flu shot because all it takes is one infection to debilitate or kill a person, and you know I don't spook easily.

    Instead of waiting until there's an outbreak, people should get it when it comes out.

    Answer by Izsarejman at 8:19 PM on Jan. 11, 2013

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