It has become a much-anticipated tradition. For the eight straight year Barnes Jewish Hospital is offering free flu shots. More than 35,000 doses to be given out this month thanks to a donation from the BJC Foundation.
The free flu shot campaign began just before 7am Monday in the main campus lobby, but I saw people start showing up at 5:30am to get in line.
The great news this year is we only need one shot... They've got the H1N1 strain along with two other strains in this year's dose.
I asked BJC's Pharmacy Director Jim Gray how big a deal H1N1 could be this year. He told me since so many people were exposed to it last year, health experts are not anticipating a pandemic however, if you don't get the vaccine you will be at risk.
I never understand people who don't get a flu shot... especially when it's free. The colleague I worked with this morning refused to get the shot. He couldn't or wouldn't tell me why, other than saying, "I never get the flu."
My response is, "that's great, but the shot to keep you from getting it THIS year is here and it's free. Just do it!" He wouldn't.
For those afraid of needles I say just don't look at the needle. Keep your mind occupied on other things for a few seconds. It's quick and seriously, this morning it was painless. I get the shot every year and some years it does sting or cause my arm to ache for a little while. A small price to pay for protection from two weeks of misery. Anyway, this time I've had no discomfort in my arm whatsoever.
So go get your flu shot. This link will tell you when and where to get a free one. http://www.barnesjewish.org/flu-shots.
Mark Schnyder is a reporter at KMOV-TV. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.