Pharmacists around Deer Park reported that they still had flu shots available as of last Friday. At CVS locations on Deer Park Avenue where the shots had run out due to high demand, they said shipments were on the way.
Shortages were reported all over Long Island last week after news of an earlier than usual flu season has hit the area.
Readers though are still mixed in their experience with the flu vaccine. On Facebook we asked people to chime in. To get the shot or not to get the shot, that is the question on many people’s minds.
“I usually don't get the shot but I'm getting worried listening to all the hype about it being so bad this year,” said Keri Inghilterra. “Not sure what to do.”
Ellen Hopps did get the shot in October. She says that two days after Christmas she got the flu, asthmatic bronchitis and a sinus infection. After two weeks of antibiotics, inhalers, cough meds and respiratory inhalation therapy she said she was still sick but hopefully getting better.
“Yup, the CDC got this vaccine right. Not!” Hopps said. “That's why there is an epidemic!”
She said that her doctor got the flu this year too, even with a shot.
“I guess if it made my flu a milder case because I got it,” she said. “I guess I would have died then if I didn't!”
Elizabeth Drummond, Erica Chimenti, Cindy Shek-Silverstein and Nancy Falabella-Henkel all told us that they never got the shot for themselves or their children and they never will.
“Never got the flu shot, never got the flu,” added Laura Cerulli. “Fingers cross this will not be the year.”
Some question the effectiveness.
“Experts says its only 60 percent effective,” commented Danielle Leacock. “I'll take my chances.”
Others were downright suspicious, especially Elizabeth Drummond.
The shot is poison,” Drummond wrote. “I would rather get the flu naturally then possibly from a shot.”
She said that with the flu getting worse every year, a majority of the people get the shot..
“I will not get injected or let my kids be injected with a man-made flu,” Drummond said.
For Jennifer Incristo, the shot led to other complications.
“My 5-year-old got (a) flu shot and a month later was hospitalized with a form of vasculitis,” she wrote.
When she did research she found that vasculitis was listed as a symptom of the shot even though her doctor assured her otherwise.
“Go figure,” she said. “Never again would I get my kids the flu shot. Besides the flu shot won’t protect against strain going around.”
Hopps, who got the flu despite getting a shot in October, said she’s declining next season.
“Not getting the shot next year,” she said. “It’s a guessing game.”
Cherie Brown, a nurse, has a different perspective and a suggestion on how to avoid the flu.
“I always get the flu vaccine,” she said. “I missed it one year and was so sick from the flu I promised myself to never miss it again.”
Brown said she works in an Emergency Room and doesn’t think she gets the flu from work even though she’s exposed to it for hours every day. Her best defense: washing her hands.
“I don’t think the vaccine is always effective but I do think the shot and increased hand washing lowers my risk,” she said. “My chances of getting flu in a supermarket are higher than my job, for the fact that at work I am constantly aware of washing my hands. So, the best defense is hand washing!”
Did you get the flu shot? Did the news of a bad flu season prompt you to get it for the first time? Or do you forgo the shot and take your chances? Talk about it in the comments below.