Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Play mist-y for me

I've heard a number of people grousing about how "over-hyped" the H1N1 flu situation is, as if it's some sort of conspiracy.

Years ago I did a post-doc in molecular virology with a researcher at Yale University (who had lab space right down the hall from where I did my doctorate in molecular neurobiology). I guess that's one reason why I've been following the flu story with interest.

Imagine my surprise (and alarm, to be honest) when I found out that we had three documented cases of H1N1 in our unit shortly after arriving at Summer Camp - North! Fortunately, this didn't catch anyone else's attention, because as it turned out, so many cases turned up, they stopped keeping count.

One of my buddies, who works in the medical field on Post, told me the virus they were seeing was causing only very mild symptoms, and therefore there was no cause for concern. He's not so optomistic about what might happen later in the flu season, however.

I'm told we'll eventually have to receive the H1N1 immunization, but that it's not ready yet. Prior to shipping out to Europe, however, we all had to be vaccinated with the regular flu vaccine.

Some people groused about this, but seeing as I've been getting a flu shot each year for at least the past twenty years, it was not a big deal for me.


When we all lined up to get vaccinated, it was not really very cold out according to the thermometer, but soon the wind kicked up and the wind chill became considerable. All of my cold-weather gear had been packed away in advance of our exodus from Summer Camp - North (hooray!), so I wound up standing around in the arctic blast for about 90 minutes.

After all that shivering, when I finally got inside and was ready to get my shot, I was informed that the Post had not gotten enough injectable vaccine, and since I'm over age 50 (thanks for reminding me!), I was not eligible to get the nasal mist flu vaccination (of which there was more than enough).

That means that none of us over the age of 50 got vaccinated, even though there's plenty of evidence that the very young and the very not-young are most susceptible to getting sick from the virus.


Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ
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1 comment:

seg said...

That Uncle Tim, is government health care and what would happen under Obamacare--very scary.

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