The last time I talked about flu shots was when my employer, Emory University, required me to get one, and I was asked to give a talk on flu shots at that venerated institution, which I titled “Why I’m Not Getting a Flu Shot This Year.” I got a call the night before by the authorities and was asked what the hell I was doing, so I offered half my time to have a debate. The fact is, that there is no evidence that flu shots for the common influenza save lives, other than for people in nursing homes if the medical staff got the shots. I argued that I am a psychiatrist who doesn’t work in a nursing home, and was told “well you walk through the hospital, dontcha?” One of the doctors at the lecture stated they bought 50,000 doses of tamiflu to get ready for the bird flu epidemic, which of course never materialized and was never going to as I wrote about here.
Needless to say, it didn’t go over well, which is why I stopped blogging about it. That and it was aggravating Mrs. Bremner.
Anyhoo, you can read about my reasons for saying that flu shots are for idiots here, however my feelings about the COVID-19 shot are very different. For one thing, the latest vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna show a 95% rate of prevention with two doses, which for a disease which has a proven 1-2% mortality rate, at least 10 times higher than influenza, is significant. Not to mention being able to go to the Walmart in Georgia without freaking out. Mrs. Bremner is an epidemiologist at Emory and she also thinks its a good idea.
I got really sick after the second dose (nausea, chills for one day), but it was worth it.