Pop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Did you get your flu shot?

I was going to be really lame and ask about your New Year resolutions, but frankly I’m not sure if those are even a good idea. The last thing I need is intermittent pressure to improve on things that I probably should be working on all year long already.

Instead, I’m laid up in bed with some kind of flu-like thing that is getting 2014 off to a really cranky, crappy start. According to news reports, flu diagnoses are on the rise, especially with H1N1 strains behind the “swine flu” panic of 2009. You can even track the flu’s progress (and, I suspect, everyone else’s regress) using the Center for Disease Control’s flu tracker.

Now, I got my flu shot like a good little lover of science-based medicine. That included protection for the H1N1 strain. So did other family and friends who are also laid up in bed with yuckiness right now. So vaccines, the flu vaccine in particular, is still not an exact science. However, I can’t help but think that if vaccination rates were higher, then these epidemics would have a bit less room to spread. And I hate to think that this illness could have been worse without having a jumpstart on the antibodies.

So, go get a flu shot, because the person right next to you may very well be sick during this increasingly worse flu season. Even if it doesn’t fully protect you in the end, the potential benefits still far outweigh the potential risks.

Did you get your flu shot? Is the flu sweeping through your town this holiday season?

The Pop Quiz is a question posed to you, the Scholars of Doubt. Look for it to appear Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons (ET).

Photo CC Micah Elizabeth Scott

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Nicole is a professor, astronomer, educator, geek, dog mom, occasional fitness nerd, and maker of tiny comets. She is also very loud under the right circumstances. Like what you read? Buy me a coffee: https://ko-fi.com/noisyastronomer

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