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View Full Version : flu shots. from the horses mouth do you think they've done you any good or not?



Brian Ashton
06-23-2015, 8:17 PM
It seems I'm moving into a profession where I'd be exposed to a lot of sick people and just got hit with a fairly heavy flu bug and during my nights of delirioum I was wondering they are worth it.

Lee Schierer
06-23-2015, 8:30 PM
As I understand it, while they don't always prevent the flu, they do seem to make the episode much easier to deal with if you've had a flu shot. I've had a flu shot for more than 10 years and haven't had the flu in that time. They may not be a hundred percent effective, but they have worked for me thus far.

Erik Loza
06-23-2015, 8:37 PM
As I understand it, while they don't always prevent the flu, they do seem to make the episode much easier to deal with if you've had a flu shot...

This ^^^....

I never got the flu shot for years, then started teaching at the local gym and of course, you get exposed to everything there so, lo and behold, got the flu. I believe the CDC will tell you that flu strains mutate and the shot you get might or might not be effective against whatever you catch but to Lee's point, having the flu sucks so much that even if it knocks my possibilities down or knocks the symptoms down by 25%, it's worth it. At least for me. Also, I make sure that I am not scheduled to teach a class or do any physical work for about 72 hours after I get the vaccination, because you will "somewhat" get the symptoms and fatigue as a result of the vaccination.

Actually, I do insist that my dad get the flu shot. In my opinion, it should be mandatory for the elderly or those with compromised or depressed immune systems. People die from complications that started with influenza, so it's worth taking seriously. Just my 2-cents as always.

Erik

Phil Thien
06-23-2015, 9:04 PM
Vitamin D may be more effective than the flu shot.

The smart move is to get the shot, and take the D.

The last time I got the flu bad was about fifteen years ago. Funny enough, I remember the experience rather fondly. I pulled a mattress off the bed in the spare room (tossed it on the floor) and went to sleep for about three days. I wasn't uncomfortable or anything, I did occasionally wake up and drink and use the facilities, but mostly just slept.

In fact, we were scheduled to have a half bath remodeled and I told my wife before falling asleep to tell them to keep it down. Three days later when I woke up, I apologized to my wife that she had to delay the remodel and she said, "no, they're wrapping it up now." They did the demo and everything else and I never even heard them.

Since then I think the flu shot has mostly protected me. It has been several years since I started taking vitamin D but it was the flu shot along for a good 8+ years that protected me all by itself.

Wade Lippman
06-23-2015, 9:57 PM
This year it was worthless, but other years it is reasonably effective.
They are free, take 10 minutes, so what the heck.

Bill Clifton
06-23-2015, 10:52 PM
Been getting them for 30+ years and never had the flu.

Ken Fitzgerald
06-23-2015, 10:54 PM
Flu vaccines aren't developed and mass produced over night. They start developing and manufacturing them long before the flu season. Periodically, the flu strains will morph wildly between the development time, production and before the flu season rendering the current vaccine less effective.

That being said, as someone who worked in hospitals and clinics daily for 34 years, I always got the flu shot. Now that I am retired, I still get them.

Eddie Watkins
06-23-2015, 10:57 PM
I have no idea if it is beneficial or not but I get a shot every year. I never had the flu before and never had it since taking the shots. The shot doesn't make me sick so I think it is a reasonable effort to try to avoid a major illness.

Phil Thien
06-23-2015, 11:17 PM
That being said, as someone who worked in hospitals and clinics daily for 34 years, I always got the flu shot. Now that I am retired, I still get them.

Many hospitals and clinics now require employees to get the flu shot.

I work as a contractor but I figure what they're advising for employees seems like a pretty good plan for me, too.

paul cottingham
06-24-2015, 2:18 AM
Ome of the local hospitals here in Victoria requires you to wear a mask if you haven't had the flu shot. I generally don't get it, but have a pretty damn robust immune system; pretty sure I haven't had the flu in 20 or so years.

Dan Hintz
06-24-2015, 7:00 AM
Never had a flu shot.

I get a sniffle-level issue about once every 2-3 years. It lasts for a day or two, never hard enough to worry about taking off of work.

About 2 months ago I got something a bit nastier than usual. An annoying cough and aching head caused me to actually take a day off of work, and it lasted for about a week and a half. No medicine beyond Advil was ever taken. I'm hoping that one takes care of my major illness for the decade.

Matt Day
06-24-2015, 7:17 AM
Herd immunity anyone?
http://www.vaccines.gov/basics/protection/

Yes maybe they missed it last year but that doesn't mean to stop getting the shot. And I really hope that we don't have people on this forum who don't vaccinate their kids.

Brian Elfert
06-24-2015, 7:26 AM
The last few years I have been getting a flu shot, but I did not get one this past year. I did not get the flu even without a shot. Surprisingly, I have not had a cold or flu for a couple of years. I did get sinus infection about two years ago.

Glenn Clabo
06-24-2015, 8:09 AM
My wife is a PhD RN and insists we both get flu shots. I hardly ever get sick...knock on wood...but she has had the flu almost every year. She explains that the shot is a generalized...statically...at the expected strain for the season. The bug is constantly mutating as it travels from host to host. She believes I just have a very robust immune system...and she doesn't...and gets a mutated strain...albeit less server. She still is a firm believer in all forms of immunization because she has seen the results of not doing it.

Rod Sheridan
06-24-2015, 9:06 AM
We always get the flu shot, nothing to lose, lots to gain................Regards, Rod.

roger wiegand
06-24-2015, 9:18 AM
Here's and interesting table (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/vaccination/effectiveness-studies.htm) that shows the effectiveness of the flu vaccine over a recent decade-- on average it reduces clinical visits where flu is detected using an extremely sensitive assay by about 50%, better in some years worse in others. (I suspect this underestimates vaccine effectiveness, as it does does not exclude patients who may have come to the clinic with symptoms due to a different primary infection (e.g. rhinovirus--common cold) who had only incidental low level influenza infection) Over a similar time period the number of deaths from influenza infection in the US ranged from 3000 to 49,000 per year (also a strain-dependent number). So the vaccine isn't perfect, but if I can reduce the chance of dying by half and also avoid a few bouts of really unpleasant illness it seems like a no-brainer.

Mark Blatter
06-24-2015, 11:03 AM
The last time I got the flu was in 1995, so 20 years ago. I have never had a flu shot in my life and don't have any plans on getting one this year. Could always change my mind of course. My kids are all out of school so that reduces that means of exposure and in my job, I don't have much physical contact with people. My wife suffers migraines, about 25 per month, so she limits her contact too as perfumes / colognes trigger them for her.

Rich Enders
06-24-2015, 12:23 PM
I just had my annual last week and the Doc asked why I have never had a flu shot in my adult life. Before I could gather myself to defend, he said:

-The flu virus is debilitating at best, and is a killer for many, especially us older folks.

-Even though the effectiveness of this years vaccine for the main flu strain, was low, the vaccine also works against three or four other significant strains that co-exist each year with the main strain.

-You do not get the flu from the shot. It is a dead virus.

I think I am sold.

Jerome Stanek
06-24-2015, 1:07 PM
I have only had 1 flu shot in my life and that was the swine flu scare in the 70's. and I have only had the flu 2 times

Larry Edgerton
06-24-2015, 5:03 PM
I am a touch over weight. I could use about a ten pound flu.

Larry

Oh ya, no shots ever and can not remember the last time I had the flu. One of the benefits of working alone.

Matt Meiser
06-24-2015, 5:55 PM
I forgot to get one this year. Wife and daughter got them. They had a touch of the flu. I went to urgent care.

Myk Rian
06-24-2015, 6:10 PM
Never had a flu shot.

I get a sniffle-level issue about once every 2-3 years. It lasts for a day or two, never hard enough to worry about taking off of work.

About 2 months ago I got something a bit nastier than usual. An annoying cough and aching head caused me to actually take a day off of work, and it lasted for about a week and a half. No medicine beyond Advil was ever taken. I'm hoping that one takes care of my major illness for the decade.

That's exactly the type of flu going around the last few years. I hope you took more than one day off work.

I get a flu shot every year, and don't catch anywhere near what others do. As a heart patient, you're darn right I'm going to get one.

David Ragan
06-24-2015, 7:45 PM
OK. I'll bite.

Yes, when you look @ populations of people, all these vaccinations help. They save lives/decrease morbidity/save money.

All the broad-Societal Medicine issues have been hashed out to be sure it is worthwhile. If it was not, we would not be doing it. The CDC is in the business of saving Uncle Sam $$$ through protecting us. Believe it.

Of course, like everything else in life, there are outliers, etc. Dramatic anecdotal stories.

I don't trust a medication until it's been on the market for at least a couple of years, though. Seen too many recalls. Some things just can't be discerned until you scale them.

Having said that, it is with firm resolve that it is my policy to leave such decisions to the individual. Google it--academic sites, only please.

I don't debate hardly anything. Nothing, really. That's totally not me.

As always, these are my personal opinions, not necessarily those of my employer.

Brett Luna
06-24-2015, 8:23 PM
One of my RA medications puts me at greater risk for infections, so I get my flu shot (and other vax) every year...and I appreciate it when others do the same.

Phil Thien
06-24-2015, 8:24 PM
As always, these are my personal opinions, not necessarily those of my employer.

That entire thing read like you're running for president.

David Ragan
06-24-2015, 8:43 PM
That entire thing read like you're running for president.

Hey Phil, like in my marriage, just trying to participate and stay out of trouble:eek:

Cary Falk
06-25-2015, 5:59 AM
Inever used to get them. I got one about 10 years ago and it put me in bed for 3 days which is very unusual for me. I am really healthy. I don't remember much about the 3 days except death would have been welcomed. I will never get one again. I will take my chances with whatever is out there.

Jason Roehl
06-25-2015, 7:43 AM
I haven't had the flu in many years. The last time I remember getting it, it was bad--I was painting a duplex near the end of July, and I kept having to take breaks, alternately going outside and coming inside depending on whether I was really cold or really hot. It took me twice as long as it should have, and when I was done, I went home and slept on the couch for about 3 days straight until my fever broke, which at one point was over 104F. That was probably about 15 years ago.

A friend whose husband is a nurse has had fairly severe reactions to the flu shot--when she gets one, she suffers from shakes that look like advanced Parkinson's for several WEEKS afterward.

I'm not opposed entirely to vaccines in general, but I think we're overdoing it as a whole, vaccinating against many things that are just mild illnesses for most people. I think being (eating, exercising) healthy is a far more valuable endeavor rather than shooting up every time the CDC and their funding sources say so.

And, David R., I agree--individual choice.

Curt Harms
06-25-2015, 9:22 AM
I wonder what's more effective -- vaccinations or staying away from school age children?:) At one point I was in close proximity to young school age kids and was coming home with some crap or the other a few times a year. Lately I've been a semi-hermit and haven't had so much as a sniffle.

Phil Thien
06-25-2015, 9:32 AM
I wonder what's more effective -- vaccinations or staying away from school age children?:) At one point I was in close proximity to young school age kids and was coming home with some crap or the other a few times a year. Lately I've been a semi-hermit and haven't had so much as a sniffle.

I'm not nearly as afraid of children as I am of clerks at convenience stores or coffee shops or whatever, that are just beginning to exhibit symptoms but are at work, dealing with the public by the hundreds.

On occasion, I have refused to be served by people that are obviously sick. I've asked if they have allergies and if not, I either get in a different line, or put my stuff down and leave to go elsewhere.

Erik Loza
06-25-2015, 11:55 AM
...-You do not get the flu from the shot. It is a dead virus...

You know, that's right but I can say for sure that each time I get one (or any viral vaccination, for that matter...), I always feel a little weak and perhaps mildly feverish the next day. Just assumed it was your body, dealing with the antibodies.


I haven't had the flu in many years. The last time I remember getting it, it was bad....until my fever broke, which at one point was over 104F. That was probably about 15 years ago....

My story is similar. College years, working retail management (long, irregular hours), single guy living with a roommate. And single, blue-collar dudes won't go to the doctor unless someone takes them there. To make the story short, what started as the flu dragged on for over two months and turned into pneumonia. Just told myself, "I'll fight through it", without realizing how bad it was getting. You'd feel somewhat OK each morning but by the time you got home from work, shivering cold. I remember being so cold at bedtime that I climbed inside my sleeping bag, then put a blanket on top. Then, you wake up in the night, drenched in sweat and fall back asleep, to start the cycle all over again. I was dumb and let this go on for probably weeks, then finally called my mom to take me to the ER one night, because I was too weak to make to my own car. Fever so high that I was hallucinating: All the car headlights looked different colors. Get to the ER, fever was over 104F and I gone from 160lbs. to 145lbs. during this episode. Doctor read me the riot act for not coming in sooner.

That was the most miserable I've ever been and it took me OVER six months to gain back most of that weight and get back to my normal energy level. Point being, you can never predict how your body is going to react once it does get the flu and adult people do die from those complications, so just get the shot.

My 2-cents, perhaps worth only half that.

Erik

David Ragan
06-25-2015, 1:22 PM
Several years ago I got the vaccination. the heat in the office was out. It was really shivering.
I soon thereafter, within a couple of days, got runny nose, etc. developed into full blown cold. What the heck? All those patients are right, and I am wrong?:confused:

I think what happens is that the immune system is presented with a super refined and potent antigen, the dead virus/part of the virus, etc, (the vaccine) and the Immune system, in its entirety, processes it. Fine. All is good.

While the immune system is busy processing this super pure potent pristine item/antigen, figuring out how to defeat it.....then some other virus comes along.

My hypothesis is that because the antigen is so pure and great....Most of your resources could be devoted to processing the vaccine, right?

Then your immune system is caught off-guard by a 'real' pathogen....What I call through the back door. You innocently rub your eyes/nose @ work. Uh-oh. You just innoculated yourself.

Then, add in some stress, long work hours, a disagreement with spouse:eek:, etc, etc........just enough to sap your immunity, and Zappo.....a dreaded head/chest cold.

Never, ever, ever touch your face. That is another method of how we get all these things. Autoinoculation.

My standard disclaimer here-this is my personal opinion, not that of my employer.

Jason Roehl
06-25-2015, 2:02 PM
... so just get the shot.



Not gonna happen. I'm a little too jaded to think it's not in part just about the money. I think overall health and supportive care (both much easier to obtain than 100 years ago) are far more important.

Harold Burrell
06-25-2015, 10:45 PM
Never, ever, ever touch your face.

What???

How am I gonna shave?

What if I have an itch?

What about a zit?

How can I pick my nose???

Brian Ashton
06-26-2015, 8:15 AM
I wonder what's more effective -- vaccinations or staying away from school age children?:) At one point I was in close proximity to young school age kids and was coming home with some crap or the other a few times a year. Lately I've been a semi-hermit and haven't had so much as a sniffle.

Problem for me if the stars align like they seem to be I'm heading into the storm and going to be around those precious little germ incubators (and I mean that it the nicest way :)) 8 hours a day as a shop teacher. I suspect the first couple years as my immune system gets pulverised by snot spewing kids regular flu shots might be more a necessity than an option.

Brian Ashton
06-26-2015, 8:36 AM
You know, that's right but I can say for sure that each time I get one (or any viral vaccination, for that matter...), I always feel a little weak and perhaps mildly feverish the next day. Just assumed it was your body, dealing with the antibodies.
Erik

If I understand flus and colds right the way you feel isn't because of the damage being waged by the virus but your bodies reaction and attack on the foreign substance. Some people have stealthy immune systems and barely if at all notice a thing (my dad was like that). I've met plenty of people that say they never get colds or flu. I highly doubt it's possible to never be infected by multiple virus' over a year but they simply have barely perceptible symptoms. While others have reactions that seem way over blown and appear to be sick all the time (what I get) where they're knocked off their feet with chills fevers, fairly significant aches and pains...

What I would also like to know is how long after you get a shot do you feel the immune response symptoms. Mine appear between 3 and 4 days later.

Thx all for the responses. I think I'll go order my flu shot monday. I start my grad dip in education in a month and have practicums starting in 3 months so I want to be as prepared as much as possible for the onslaught of germs I will be exposed to. Having to take a week of sick days on a prac, you might as well drop out.

Dan Friedrichs
06-26-2015, 7:40 PM
A friend whose husband is a nurse has had fairly severe reactions to the flu shot--when she gets one, she suffers from shakes that look like advanced Parkinson's for several WEEKS afterward.
Many people have extremely serious reactions to eating peanuts - doesn't mean they're generally dangerous. Those of us who can get the vaccine, should - it helps us, and helps those who (for whatever reason) can't get it.



I'm not opposed entirely to vaccines in general, but I think we're overdoing it as a whole, vaccinating against many things that are just mild illnesses for most people. I think being (eating, exercising) healthy is a far more valuable endeavor rather than shooting up every time the CDC and their funding sources say so.


You realize something like 30,000 people a year die from the flu, right?

David Ragan
06-27-2015, 4:23 AM
What???

How am I gonna shave?

What if I have an itch?

What about a zit?

How can I pick my nose???

I always utilize a tissue @ work if I can't wash my hands.

David Ragan
06-27-2015, 5:23 AM
Its about time to cut some wood here, but I will say first that I had not realized how filthy my cell phone and keys were until wife and Maw in Law told me. Now, when I come home every day, I wipe off phone with Clorox wipe. Keys get wipe down Friday.

In my work as a MRO (Medical Review Officer), ie, interpretation of urine drug screens (UDS) for the Gov't--you know, when folks have UDS for the DOT, employers, etc.....well-I have read that you can tell the prevalence of Cocaine use in a country by the amount of cocaine residual on the currency. And yes, our money is really filthy stuff.

Kent A Bathurst
06-27-2015, 6:28 AM
What???

How am I gonna shave?

What if I have an itch?

What about a zit?

How can I pick my nose???

Straight to the heart of the matter, Harold. Important questions, every one.

Kent A Bathurst
06-27-2015, 6:31 AM
On the flu shot -

Family Doc says "Get a flu shot. Get a pneumonia shot. Oh - at your age - get a shingles shot also."

I do it. She is the brightest, most straight-forward, pragmatic family Doc we have ever had. LOve her.

So - I do as told.

At least - on this bit. The "exercise more, lose weight, quit smoking" - - - not so much on those.

Moses Yoder
06-27-2015, 7:22 AM
If the flu shot cost me something I would not get one. Since my company offers them free of charge I get one. When I was spending most of my time with my mother during her chemo treatments I could not get sick. I had a slight sore throat one day, no fever, and immediately started EMERGEN-C (http://www.drugstore.com/emergen-c-1000-mg-vitamin-c-super-orange/qxp222871) rations 2 in the morning and 2 at night and ended up not getting sick. The flu has not benched me now since I have been getting flu shots.

Erik Loza
06-27-2015, 1:04 PM
....how long after you get a shot do you feel the immune response symptoms. Mine appear between 3 and 4 days later...

For me, always the next day. In other words, "Get vaccination, go to bed that night, wake up the next day and feel a little under the weather...". It generally lasts only a day or so for me but that could be different for other folks.

This has been the case for me with any of the viral vaccines: Yellow Fever, etc.

Erik

Frank Drew
06-28-2015, 11:56 AM
If the flu shot cost me something I would not get one... The flu has not benched me now since I have been getting flu shots.

Hmmm, something here does not compute, Moses. What if the shot only cost a nominal amount, say $5? Still wouldn't get one?

As for vaccinations in general, their overall role in improving human health is beyond questioning.

Moses Yoder
06-29-2015, 7:14 PM
Hmmm, something here does not compute, Moses. What if the shot only cost a nominal amount, say $5? Still wouldn't get one?

As for vaccinations in general, their overall role in improving human health is beyond questioning.

It has not been conclusively shown to my satisfaction that getting a flu shot prevents me from getting the flu. There are many other factors such as diet and exercise, the genetics in my immune system, small doses of exposure to the virus over a period of time to build up immunity before a large dose exposure, etc. Besides the fact that a sick day is not such a bad thing; a day in the easy chair drinking tea and eating hot soup with a good book; where's the down side?

Matt Day
06-29-2015, 8:36 PM
Downside is you could spread it to someone who could die from it.

Are you an immunologist, or doctor? If you aren't board certified you should trust those that are and get the shot as they recommend.

Jason Roehl
06-30-2015, 5:31 AM
Downside is you could spread it to someone who could die from it.

Part of the risk of living. I cannot abide the thought that if we take reasonable measures to stay away from other when ill that we are somehow responsible for others who are immuno-compromised contracting a disease.


Are you an immunologist, or doctor? If you aren't board certified you should trust those that are and get the shot as they recommend.

There are those who are board certified who disagree with the mentality of "a vaccine for every disease", and don't recommend getting the flu shot.

Glenn Clabo
06-30-2015, 6:50 AM
I closed this thread because spreading misinformation about healthcare is dangerous to not only you...but society in general. If you want to discuss this...do it with your healthcare professionals...not on a work workers forum.