It is my practice to get a flu shot because I have the potential to make people sick, including some people who may be particularly vulnerable. As a pastor I spend a lot of time in areas where sick people are--particularly hospitals. Then I go to nursing homes and congregational gatherings where people are not sick.
Because of my age and health I am not in a priority group for receiving a flu shot when there is a shortage of them but I wonder if I should be. I do not think I would be in great danger of being hospitalized or worse if I contracted the H1N1 virus, for example. But I am concerned that I have the potential to spread it to some who are vulnerable to adverse reactions maybe even before I know that I am sick.
According to this report of a few weeks ago Centers for Disease Control has recommended that priority be given to these groups when the H1N1 vaccine first becomes available: pregnant women; people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age; healthcare and emergency medical services personnel; children and young people between the ages of 6 months and 24 years old; and people ages 25 through 64 years of age who are at higher risk for 2009 H1N1 because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems. Actually the report says that the priority list includes the groups above. If there is an expanded priority list that also includes members of the clergy I haven't seen it.
Anyway, since members of the clergy move back and forth between large groups of sick people and large groups of people who are not sick, does it make since to include us on the priority list?