Have you received a flu or shingles vaccine? Over the years, I have had mixed feelings on both, but they have become the norm for many. Just what do we know about these vaccinations? Let’s see…the shingles vaccine contains a weakened chickenpox virus that primes your immune system to defend against the disease. The flu vaccine covers only certain strains. None of them guarantee total protection from these viruses. It’s obvious why a person would wonder what he or she should do? In all actuality, these vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body within days or weeks after the injection(s). At that point, the antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine. I guess a little bit of something bad can be something good. In some cases, you may not be prevented from contracting the virus, but may have a much more weakened version of it had you not gotten the shots. There are actually a wide range of different vaccines and some are specific to certain age groups. Some are designed for timing of an exposure, but in whatever manner or form, it can actually become a lifesaving vaccination, particularly in the very young, elderly or those with compromised immune systems. On the flipside, some vaccines just aren’t good for people with certain health conditions. I encourage you to take a few moments and talk to your healthcare providers. Do some research and ask the questions that you need answered and feel comfortable enough to make that important decision for you and your family. Regardless of what you decide, keep in mind that the flu and shingles viruses can become very serious matters rather quickly. I am weighing my pros and cons, but there is one thing I am certain of is that I sure am fortunate to be in a country where I have healthcare options and the ability to make those decisions because these are available to me and my family.