I started getting flu shots again a year ago.

And, as the various strains of flu sneak around the country, I probably will continue to get them in the future. Besides, they don't hurt.

My childhood contained various innoculations that had varying degrees of pain - and left a lingering fear of the process.

Last year, I went into the Ravalli County Public Health Department for a flu shot and, before I knew it, the vaccine had been delivered and I was back out the door. No pain.

So, this year, during the National Influenza Vaccination Week (December 8 through 14), I ventured into the department again. This time, I felt a teeny, tiny little tinge, but again, the process was quick and easy.

Public Health Director Judy Griffin highly encourages people to get their flu shot. She says it helps you and your neighbors, since that bug can spread so easily. And, it's especially important for young children, pregnant women, people over age 65 and those with chronic health conditions like asthma or heart disease.

There's no shortage of the vaccine this year, and you can get it at pharmacies all over the place, but I like the folks at the Public Health Department. We had fun, and they even took a photo. (see photo)

See, no tears!!