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December 02, 2009


Vaccines have been scarce to nonexistent here. KSC just recently received enough vaccines for students who are high-risk, but since there's not enough for everyone, official "encouragements" to get vaccinated have been mitigated by the caveat "once we receive more vaccines." So it's kind of strange to get frequent "updates" about something we can't really do anything about, with each update stressing how important it is to get a vaccine that isn't yet available to the general public.

I had my flu shot last week. I went to Montreal's Olympic Stadium, not because it was the nearest location, but because it was used as a location for big bureaucratic "happenings" in Denys Arcand's Oscar winning film "The Barbarian Invasions".

The only bureaucracy however was that there were provisions for huge crowds but in reality there were more staff than clients. We had to walk a lot from section to section, and we had to fill out the forms on a few tables under supervision of a nurse. That was the only time we had to wait, not because there was a line-up, but until there were enough people to fill the tables. All in all it took only 35 minutes and was very well organised. I can only imagine what the whole operation did cost. There were lots of staff, and the vaccine itself isn't cheap either. I'm sure the stock prices of vaccine makers and Purell will soar.

Here in Marin (in Northern California), vaccines have been scarce and seriously rationed -- and non-existent lately for the regular flu. It's much like Lorianne described, with each urgent update creating only more panic among certain groups of people. It's all very odd.

Here in Turkey the country would seem to be in the grip of swine 'flu hysteria if the newspapers are to be believed. We live in a small village 15km from the nearest town where the health workers have all been vaccinated but, as far as I am aware, there are no plans to vaccinate anyone else. The government closed all schools for a day towards the end of last month for 'special cleansing'. When you live in a rural area like this it feels as though you are 'removed' from such epidemics which concern city dwellers. But I am going to spend next week in crowded Istanbul, I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed.

Here in rural BC I haven't heard of many people getting the flu or either flu shot. But if lots of people get sick I imagine a sense of urgency might develop. No shot for me. I will just stay home.

amazing. i have had no flu shot this year--not for h1n1 nor the regular flu. i used to get a flu shot each year at work, where we held a health fair every november. there were stations throughout our conference center for all kinds of things--information on insurance plans, or free cholesterol screening, or weight-loss counselors, or whatever. there were long tables with free stuff--apples, and tote bags, and slippery piles of brochures.

i'd get a flu shot and it went pretty much the way you described it.

they canceled the health fair a few years ago when our company was sold, but continued the flu shots because it helped with employee absenteeism.

this year they canceled the flu shot, too, for lack of availability.

the h1n1 vaccine is also unavailable.

so i've been sick for the last week. worked every day but one, though.

I got an H1N1 jab yesterday, rather unexpectedly. I was on a routine visit to my private physician. When asked whether I needed the seasonal flu shot I said I'd already had it at the State House clinic. (My arm down to the hand was very sore for 3 days after and I was quite sick for at least that long--never before had so strong a reaction to the regular flu shot.)

I asked when H1N1 would be available to the general population and was told "You can have one now!" When I added I wasn't in a high-risk category I was told it didn't matter. Within the next week or so they'll be available to all their patients who want one.

The nurse who jabbed me was among the first to get one, along with other health workers. "It really works!" she says. She'd been continously exposed (and well protected) while nursing her teenaged daughter through days and weeks of severe H1N1.

Earlier in autumn seasonal flu shot clinics were being cancelled right and left in our state due to very high demand and shortage of vaccine. But now the clinics are back on.

As for my reaction to H1N1--I can't tell I had anything done. No sore arm, absolutely no after-effects. Making it quite my favourite flu shot of the year! (And for whatever reason--fear-mongering, I suppose--it seems to be the one that some people are suspicious about...)

Swine flu incidence has decreased in my state. As of the weekend, we've had 9 deaths and all persons had underlying health complications.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.