No Better Time for Your Flu Shot or Nasal Spray
Seattle is one of the five cities nationally chosen for the the Fluzone Intradermal Coop de Quill VacciNation Tour, and by Seattle, Sanofi Pasteur means Kirkland. Their Coop de Quill car, which features a “supersized rooftop 3D structure of the Fluzone Intradermal vaccine,” will pull up at a Kirkland Walgreen’s (12405 NE 85th St.) this Monday, September 24, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
>>King County residents, go here to see who’s dispensing flu vaccines locally.
“Intradermal” is fancy medical term meaning “you won’t pass out when you see the needle we use.” It’s a mosquito-sized wisp of a thing that stops just under the skin, reducing the chance of muscle soreness. In fact, the most common after-effects are mosquito-bite-sounding: “redness, firmness, swelling, and itching.” (There’s also a nasal spray, if you’re between the ages of 2 and 49.)
The tour means to ”educate adults 18 through 64 years of age about the seriousness of influenza and vaccine options available.” For instance, did you know that the majority of your neighbors are passively trying to infect you with the flu? During the 2010-11 flu season, only 36 percent of Washington adults 18-to-64 got immunized. (Maybe it’s time to break out the “I’m Immunized!” buttons, so you know who’s civic-minded, like the “I Gave Blood!” people.)
In King County, the flu immunization rate for all adults over 18 ( for latest year 2010) was 44 percent. 18-to-44-year-olds are the worst offenders; at about middle age, a more lively sense of mortality seems to have a salutary effect. But even so, only about 45 percent of the 45-to-64 age group bother to get a shot.
This despite the fact that, for the past two years, the flu vaccine has been right on the money when it comes to targeting the flu strains out there. It’s not perfect protection, by any means, but last flu season it was about 60-percent effective. (If you could walk into a casino and gamble 60-percent effectively, you would soon not be allowed into casinos.)
For the 3,000 to 49,000 people who die from it in the U.S. annually, the flu is no laughing matter. The 226,000 who are hospitalized because of its complications probably don’t chuckle over it, either. At Walgreen’s, the price locally is $31.99. Think of it as $16 for you, $16 for the good of everyone around.