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Flu Shot....When?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by sszyszkiewicz, Aug 31, 2014.

  1. missmakaliasmomma

    missmakaliasmomma Approved members

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    My daughter and I have been getting the flu shot every year, nothing to do with t1. I was advised to get it when she was a baby and her drs advised me to always get our flu shots.

    That being said, I think we do it in the fall usually and we never do the nasal mist.
     
  2. moco89

    moco89 Approved members

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    I wish you would not say something like this. I was told to never get a flu shot by my neurologist, and I just happened to be recently diagnosed with the demyelinating condition that is essentially contradicted for flu shots. I am also on immunosuppression, in addition to having type 1 diabetes. I really do not appreciate this particular comment.
     
  3. funnygrl

    funnygrl Approved members

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    Then you should really hope that a lot of people get the flu shot if you can't get it and you're immunosuppressed.
     
  4. C6H12O6

    C6H12O6 Approved members

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    I find the flu shot gives me general malaise (to the point where I am fatigued / it is disruptive). This caused me to delay getting it to the point where I last got it in Jan 2013 and have not had once since.

    I don’t really have concerns about the safety or efficacy of the shot, but I do find the malaise I get to be very disruptive.

    I have been getting flu shots since 2001.
     
  5. funnygrl

    funnygrl Approved members

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    Okay, fair enough, there are several versions of the flu vaccine, including FluMist, that label the self as preservative free and contain very trace amounts of preservative so people don't go get their flu shot and end up with meningitis.
     
  6. nanhsot

    nanhsot Approved members

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    Some people have a more natural immunity to the flu, and many have been exposed to flu without getting ill but their body produced natural antibody. It's well documented that older people are less "prone" to the swine flu because it ran a natural course in their youth and their bodies were able to fight the more recent strain. It was NOT the exact same virus but close enough that their bodies were less "prone" (i.e. had natural immunity) to get it.

    I think what you have written above is not scientifically correct. It is my personal belief that natural immunity to diseases is always superior to an annual shot. There are many many things you an do to bolster your immune system naturally and to lower your chances of the flu. It is true that some people are more prone to general viruses.

    Flu is a serious thing and those who feel they cannot fight it or are at high risk of the complications certainly need the vaccine but it is my personal belief that not every person needs it or benefits from it and I actually think there is harm in everyone getting it for the reasons above. I also strongly believe it is a PERSONAL decision that everyone needs to make for their family after researching the pros/cons.
     
  7. swellman

    swellman Approved members

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    Perhaps I was vague. Of course, in the absence of existing antibodies, there's nothing that make one "prone" to catching the flu. That was my point and I still stand by that. I assumed that was obvious. You say it's not "scientific" and then immediately state your "personal belief". /shrug

    I'm honestly not sure what your issue is with my comment. I never suggested, nor would I, for someone to get the vaccine if they had any contraindications. Maybe you misunderstood? Sorry it irked you.
     
  8. Nancy in VA

    Nancy in VA Approved members

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    For the first few years after Emma's diagnosis, we got flu shots as a family. I seemed to be the worse because DESPITE what the Dr office said, I would get flu like symptoms for several days after getting the shot. The worse was actually when I was pregnant with Emma and within 2 days of the flu shot I was ON THE COUCH for almost a week with the flu. When I talked to the OB, she said lots of her patients had said the same thing.

    Emma is probably the healthiest of my kids. She rarely gets sick. She'll get a little cold or two each winter, but rarely anything else. I've been fortunate that all of my kids seem to have strong, healthy immune systems. My son used to pass out from getting shots (vasovagal reaction) so I stopped getting them and it hasn't been any worse in our house. I'm fine if one of us gets the flu (except hubby who is a whiney, horrible patient when he shows the first sign of illness) except boy, we burn through insulin when Emma gets a bug just because she uses like 3x the insulin during the time.
     
  9. Lakeman

    Lakeman Approved members

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    There are clearly things people do that increase their chance of getting the flu or alternatively reduce their chance of getting the flu. Some examples: 1. as already discussed having an immune system which was previously exposed to the virus and has produced antibodies, 2. not smoking since having damaged lungs increases one's risk of getting a respiratory illness such as the flu, 3. washing or not washing one's hands as the virus most often gets into the body via the hands through the eyes, nose, or mouth. 4. the obvious following from #3 which is not to pick your nose or rub your eyes or pick your teeth, 5. people with weakened immune systems are more likely to get sick and lack of sleep or excess stress weaken one's immune system, 6. antibodies are not the only defense your immune system has. A healthy immune system does not need prior exposure to mount a defense so providing your system with the basic building blocks it needs can help - think nutrition, 7. Health care workers have a 17.3% chance of getting the flu in any year, parents have a 24% chance, and the general population has a 5.4% chance. So your choice of careers or choice to live with children effects your chances of getting the flu, 8. other possible factors - working out too much or too little, drinking alcohol, kissing, eating food prepared by sick people, hanging out in crowded places...

    Clearly there are things which make one person more or less prone than another to get the flu.

    That being said if the general population has a 5.4% chance of getting the flu then we have a place to start our thinking process on this.
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/health-care-workers-flu-shot/

    What does the vaccine do? Well it makes it less likely that you will get the flu but it does not reduce your risk to zero.

    Here is a quote from the CDC:
    "How well the flu vaccine works (or its ability to prevent flu illness) can range widely from season to season. The vaccine’s effectiveness also can vary depending on who is being vaccinated. At least two factors play an important role in determining the likelihood that flu vaccine will protect a person from flu illness: 1) characteristics of the person being vaccinated (such as their age and health), and 2) the similarity or "match" between the flu viruses the flu vaccine is designed to protect against and the flu viruses spreading in the community. During years when the flu vaccine is not well matched to circulating viruses, it’s possible that no benefit from flu vaccination may be observed. During years when there is a good match between the flu vaccine and circulating viruses, it’s possible to measure substantial benefits from vaccination in terms of preventing flu illness. However, even during years when the vaccine match is very good, the benefits of vaccination will vary across the population, depending on characteristics of the person being vaccinated and even, potentially, which vaccine was used."
    http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/vaccineeffect.htm

    So just how well does it work? Here is another quote from that article:
    "CDC typically presents vaccine effectiveness (VE) as a single point estimate: for example, 60%. This point estimate represents the reduction in risk provided by the flu vaccine. CDC vaccine effectiveness studies commonly measure laboratory confirmed flu illness that results in a doctor’s visit or urgent care visit as an outcome. For this outcome, a VE point estimate of 60% means that the flu vaccine reduces a person’s risk of developing flu illness that results in a visit to the doctor’s office or urgent care provider by 60%."

    My conclusion from all this:

    The flu is bad and might even kill some people - it is no laughing matter. You can reduce your risk of getting the flu by maintaining a healthy lifestyle As a parent your chances in any given year of getting the flu are about 24%. Getting a shot will decrease that 24% by about 60% (which varies quite a bit from year to year). The shot has side effects and risks. I have had bad reactions to thimerisol (mercury based preservative found in some flu vaccines but removed by the FDA from all other vaccines no doubt for a good reason) in other products and for me the experience of getting the shot is almost as bad as my experience of actually getting the flu are. I would personally not take a live virus vaccine, i.e. nasal mist.

    (let's take a moment to talk about the TH1/TH2 balance in the immune system. Your immune system is a dynamic work of art that when working correctly shifts between two attack modes; the th1 and the th2 mode. A healthy system first attacks a virus when it is outside of the cell and then when it is inside a cell. Every vaccine one gets stimulates the th2 system and suppressed the th1 system. Vaccines train your system to attack viruses with an unbalanced half of the available attack modes. Each child in the US receives up to 69 vaccines. A link between vaccines and allergies has been demonstrated. All the articles I have read about a link between vaccines and automune disorders indicates that it should continue to be studied.)

    Arguments for herd immunity fall far short when one considers that 95% of the population would not get the flu without the shot and the shot still leaves about 40% of the vaccinated equally unprotected. (all vaccines leave a certain number of recipients with no added protection (my vaccinated son got chicken pox three times) and that will never be discussed when authorities tell you that you need to get vaccinated.)

    If you are a person for whom the benefits of a vaccine outweigh the risk by all means get the shot. Understand its weaknesses and do whatever else you can to lessen your chances of getting the flu. If you are a person for whom the risks outweigh the benefits understand the shots weaknesses and do whatever you can to lessen your chances of getting the flu - but don't feel guilty because the stats behind flu vaccines are just are not that impressive except to the shareholders of Walgreens
     

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