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OT Flu Shots

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  • OT Flu Shots

    Got your flu shot yet? You might want to rethink. I got mine last Tuesday. By Wednesday evening I has a mild fever and my normally arthritic joints were raging at every movement. I was better by morning and endured the day at work, but as Thursday evening approached, sniffles began and the aches and pains recurred. Again the following morning I was well enough to go to work, but with less enthusiasm. Made it through Friday with growing, but mild, chest congestion and a cough, and again began going down with the sun.

    I suppose this must be preferable to full-blown influenza, possibly twice over? I am given to understand that this year they have included two strains of flu in the vaccination.

    This is not an unusual occurrence for me as it has happened before, despite the frequent assurances and vehement assertions that the shots are made from dead viruses and WON'T GIVE YOU THE FLU.

    Whatever. My immune system thinks it has the flu and I have failed to convince it otherwise, despite the assurances and assertions of the experts and authorities.
    Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
    ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

  • #2
    Sometimes that happens. The odds are it won't. I got the flu shot a couple of weeks ago and had no reaction whatsoever.

    Having REALLY had the flu -- big time -- once about 20 years ago, I'll take the flu shots. I never want to be that sick again.
    Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
    Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
    There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
    Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
    Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie


    • #3
      Last time I got a flu shot I got sick as a dog. Haven't had a shot - or the flu - since then.


      • #4
        In the AF we were required to have a flu shot each year. Many complained that it gave them the flu. Not me. I never once had any reaction to it, and it seemed to protect me from the flu.
        I occasionally neglected to get a shot after retiring from the AF, and subsequently came down with the flu. Now I make sure to get one each year!

        As to the reactions to the injections: I am convinced that many (maybe most) health related matters are primarily psychologically governed. That makes them no less real at all!


        • #5
          I haven't got a flu shot since I was 8 years old. I refuse! It is the dumbest idea ever thought up. I laugh when everyone else is getting sick. Here, take this shot, make yourself sick. LOL


          • #6
            If you get any shot or blood draw make sure they wipe the skin with iodine or alchol many times to avoid MRSA. At the hospital I was told to make anyone wiped 100 times which I don't anyone will do.
            "Let me recommend the best medicine in the
            world: a long journey, at a mild season, through a pleasant
            country, in easy stages."
            ~ James Madison


            • #7
              I get a flu shot every year for at least 50 years and have never had a reaction (just my luck it will happen this year). Sometimes they do not get the correct "mix" for lack of better words and they miss the particular strain that causes problems for that year. I will get it for free at the VA Clinic once the clinic is reopened (don't get me started on some particular idiots in DC).


              • #8
                Just to clarify a few points.

                1. The flu vaccine that is injected is indeed dead or partial virus particles/proteins. You can't get the flu from it. The nasal spray vaccine has live, but attenuated (weakened) virus--also not possible to get the true flu from it.

                Ahh, but you can have an immune reaction to the foreign flu virus particles. That's the whole idea, to build antibodies against the "real" and living flu virus. Some people have an overly enthusiastic immune system and do, in fact, get sick. It's not the flu, but it's still sick. Small consolation.

                2. The flu vaccine doesn't protect you from all flu viruses. Every year, there are a number of novel and different "flus" going around. The vaccine people attempt to identify the most virulent strain or strains of flu that has the greatest potential to kill you, and make the vaccine for that, and only that strain. It won't protect you from the other more "ordinary" flu--that's not what it's for.

                3. Just by random chance, some people get sick from something else the day or day after they got the flu vaccine. Food poisoning, the common cold, a "normal" flu, "stomach flu" which is a different norovirus, whatever. It's just a coincidence, but you have an uphill battle convincing people of that.

                4. Flu vaccine that is packaged in bulk containers (many shots in one bottle) contain a small amount of thimerosal. This is an ethyl-mercury compound. It sounds a lot like methyl-mercury, which is awe-inspiring terrible. By comparison, thimerosal is fairly benign. There was and is a widely touted study that thimerosal in vaccines was responsible for causing autism in kids. That particular study has been thoroughly and completely discredited as the worst sort of junk/fake science.

                However, I have dealt with thimerosal professionally as an optometist. This used to be the preservative of choice for contact lens solutions. It turns out that a significant percentage of the population is either immediately allergic to thimerosal, or quickly become allergic to it with repeated exposure. The phrase, "20% of the population" gets thrown around. I have never seen a source for that number, but I don't doubt it.

                Because of this widespread problem, virtually no modern contact lens solution uses thimerosal any more. I am suspicious that kids especially, and many adults, may react to thimerosal in ways that range from uncomfortable (flu-like symptoms) to very serious complications when it is injected.

                Note that the unit doses of flu vaccine do NOT contain thimerosal, and neither does the nasal spray vaccine. If you want the vaccine, you can request the unit doses, especially if you alert them to the fact that you are allergic to thimerosal. Hey, one in five....

                Some of the health care people, nurses, doctors, etc, are at various levels of awareness to these issues. Many are not aware of what has thimerosal in it, or not in it. Do your own research. Make an informed decision for you, your family, your kids. If your kid, or your elderly mom die from influenza, and you chose not to vaccinate, that may be a heavy burden. If you choose to vaccinate, and your kid goes into anaphylactic shock and dies from the vaccine, that will be a heavy burden. There is no simple automatic best decision here.

                I personally do not react well to the flu vaccine, and have chosen not to get it any more. But I have a very robust immune system, and I get sick, on average, once every two years, for a day or two, and never seriously ill.

                If I were aged, or infirm, or otherwise immune compromised, I might make a different decision. Influenza actually kills several thousand people every year, and if we happen to get a particularly hot version, that number could easily go up to 100,000 people dead in North America.

                It's all about risk management and how you feel about various kinds of risk.

                This is not medical advice for anybody's particular situation and ignores all the individual risk issues in your life.

                Hope that helped.

                Fair and balanced.


                Last edited by michigan doug; 10-12-2013, 12:59 PM. Reason: adding information


                • #9
                  +1. Can't add much to Doug's reply!

                  For the past 15 years I've had an annual flu shot and only had the flu once. Prior to that I'd get seriously ill with influenza every year and then complications from pneumonia for weeks/months; the trend wasn't looking good.

                  As an aside, if you are prone to pneumonia, get the relevant shot(s) for that also - it will nail the most common forms. Only required once or twice a lifetime (not sure of the current guidelines; might be every 10 years now).
                  Last edited by lakeside53; 10-12-2013, 12:48 PM.


                  • #10
                    Never had one--never will. The only vaccine I ever had since polio(back in the stone age) was for yellow fever in 2005.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by michigan doug View Post
                      1. The flu vaccine that is injected is indeed dead or partial virus particles/proteins. You can't get the flu from it. The nasal spray vaccine has live, but attenuated (weakened) virus--also not possible to get the true flu from it.
                      You can get the flu from the nasal spray, since it's a live vaccine ("LAIV": Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine). In fact, you can actually transmit the flu from LAIV to people with weakened immune systems, so the nasal spray it's not recommended for medical staff. That said, it's a very weakened form of the virus, so you shouldn't have major effects unless your immune system is impaired.

                      That said, it's very common to have flu-like symptoms from the flu vaccine. It's usually a mild form of Guillain-Barre Syndrome: in some folks, as your immune system is attacking the vaccine, it also attacks the myelin sheath in their nerves causing muscle aches, and in extreme cases muscle paralysis and death. Guillain-Barre Syndrome is the reason the muscles in your shoulder get sore from the flu vaccine, and the reason the amount of soreness varies from year to year: it all depends on how your immune system reacts to the vaccine. But it drives the medical establishment insane when you discuss it, because they're afraid it will dissuade people from getting the vaccine.
                      Last edited by lazlo; 10-12-2013, 01:39 PM.
                      "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."


                      • #12
                        Having a flu shot is a personal shoice--some do, some don't. All I know is that it works for me. I've had shots almost every year for about 15 years now and in the years I had the shot I never got the flu. In the two or three years I missed my shot I always got sick. I do occasionally have a mild reaction but it's nothing like the real flu--well worth it my opinion...
                        Just one project too many--that's what finally got him...


                        • #13
                          This is a simple process - if you don't mind the possibility of getting the flu, get a flu shot. Nothing changes if you don't get a flu shot. You still have the possibility of getting the flu. See? simple.

                          Ignoring the flu for a moment, if you are heart set against getting preemptive injections, don't get them. It still remains simple.

                          If you have medical reasons for not getting preemptive injections, don't get them. Simple, still.

                          If you are a trained professional then get on forums and make a case for or against preemptive injections. If you are not then wait until someone qualified shows up and then offer your unqualified opinion about personal health decisions you would make for yourself.

                          If you have an urge to rant about preemptive health care in general then add to the noise. Nobody who has made up their mind is going to pay any attention anyway.

                          If you have had a good experience or have not had a bad experience with preemptive health care decisions then share them here. Nobody who has made up their mind is going to pay attention.

                          If you are here because you are curious about preemptive injections search the archives as there was a 10,000 deep thread here a few years ago on this subject that settled nothing and it would probably still be running if it hadn't been locked.

                          Anyone want to talk about sulfur in dry wall rotting your air conditioner?


                          • #14
                            I get one every year, its free and I will do anything to not have influenza. I realise it does not stop colds or any other minor ailments , just flu. I dont think many people have actually had influenza, usually it involves a couple of weeks off work. I think its funny when people ring in to work with flu then are back at work the next day. Even funnier is when they refuse the flu jab for whatever reason including "I never get sick" then get flu and are sick as dogs for a few weeks.
                            Why would the govt spend millions each year on something that makes people sick.
                            My neighbours diary says I have boundary issues


                            • #15
                              Sucks to be Me

                              I mentioned this unfortunate event, not so much against the shot but to remind of the possibility of reaction. This time I noticed and documented the progression of the symptoms. This happens to me more often than not, but I still get the shot. Perhaps I should have suggested it as a method for getting mildly sick on a schedule and plan it around other more enjoyable occupations.
                              Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
                              ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~