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Kirk W

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With the approaching of the annual flu season, there is always some debate about the vaccinations for it, how well they work, and if one really needs them. As one who stopped getting them years ago because they always made me sick, I understand the debate. About 10 years ago at the recommendation of her doctor, we both started to get one every year because of the risk to Pam because of her other medical issues. I can tell you that those shots have improved to where I no longer experience much of anything beyond a slightly sore arm and sometimes a low grade headache the following day. I just received the following article from National Geographic Newsletter and thought that I would share it with everyone to consider. 

What happens if you catch flu and COVID-19 at the same time?

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Some years I get the flu shot, some years I don’t. No particular reason. I don’t experience anything different either way. This year I got it already. I rarely get the flu either way. Sometimes I do get it either way. Not sure why. 

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I have had the full blown flu twice and I never want to have that experience again.  One time I was a day away from the Doctor putting me in the hospital.  Since then I get the flu vaccination every year without fail.  Surer there is still a chance that I can get another strain, but mu odds of not getting a flu is much better than without the vaccination.

I love the clowns that claim they get the flu from the shot.  They do not understand the the vaccination is developed with a killed strain of the flue.

Ken

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We have always gotten the flu shot and on occasion will have a some brief discomfort afterwards; sore arm, blah feeling for several days, etc. but we get over it.  It is ur bodies reaction to a foreign body being injected into it.  Small price to pay.  The other day I got the 2nd of (2) pneumonia shots and felt nasty for about 36-48 hrs with a very sore arm and blah feeling.    

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I usually get a flu shot every year, never get the flu and rarely get a cold (I know the two aren’t related).  

Last year the person giving shots at my pharmacy was on lunch break when I went in for one so I figured I’d get one somewhere else later.  At the time I was just starting out as a full-timer and somehow didn’t quite get around to getting the vaccine anywhere else.  In late January I got sick, kept trying to say it was just a bad head cold (in spite of the fact I had a temperature) and didn’t do anything other than treat the symptoms.  I still don’t know what it was - flu, cold, or whatever.  All I know is that it wasn’t fun.

I got my shot the day before yesterday.  My arm is a little sore but that’s OK, especially if I don’t get sick this winter.

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The old myths about becoming ill from the flu shot always remain because people don't understand basic physiology.  For years most people never thought about getting the shots UNTIL there were LOTS of cases all around.  It takes 2-3 weeks for your immune system to build up a sufficient number of antibodies circulating to attack the virus.   That sore arm, slight fever, shows that your immune system recognized the killed virus particle and is reacting, like it should.  

HOWEVER, it is entirely possible to (1) already have been exposed and have the flu and not yet showing systems, or (2) become exposed and develop flu before the body has the time to react.     If you notice the pharmacies now begin advertising the availability at the end of August (actually the flu vaccine is available all year round) and once pharmacies were allowed to give the shot, it became more convenient for people to get them, there was more advertising about them being available, pharmacy chains started to do TV ads (lure the kids with STICKER bandaids) to get more people in and get it started earlier.   

It is always a guess on the manufacturers part as to which strains will be circulating, some years they do a better job than other years at getting it right.  And not everyone gets 100% immunity, but even if you do get the flu, having some immune response means you usually don't get as sick.    

The other thing that helps a lot of full timers is that they are not around kids all of the time.    The less you are around people who are sick, the less likely that you will get sick.   

Australia is just finishing their flu season and because of the pandemic restrictions (wearing masks, staying distant from others, etc) they have had a HUGE decrease in flu cases this year.   Turns out the same things that we do in response to the Corona Virus will also work to help prevent the exposure to the flu viruses - and the common cold (some of which are also corona viruses)!

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1 hour ago, TXiceman said:

 my odds of not getting a flu is much better than without the vaccination.

I wish more people thought like this, but so many of them want things to be 100%.

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I always get a flu shot in October based on something I read many years ago, but could not find the original source.  However, I did find this piece that says Dr. Fauci gets his flu shot every year in mid to late Oct.  The article is short and not technical.

And I agree with TXiceman - it's all about the odds.  Even when it wasn't free,  the lowers your chances of becoming badly sick.   I've always viewed as cheap insurance.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/16/when-dr-anthony-fauci-gets-his-flu-shot-and-why.html

Edited by DanZemke
clarity

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Wife & self  have been getting the shot for years.  Both of us are over age 70 now, and get the "over 65" version which supposedly is stronger and lasts longer.  Haven't had any "version" of the flu in years.  Recommendation is late Sept or early Oct.

When still working at Fire Dept, you would go to the MIC Nurse at the hospital for flu shot (I've been retired for 20+ years - so that goes way back - never any ill effects).  Her husband is/was a surgeon.

Pneumonia vaccines - old and new = yes.

Shingles - old = yes.  Updated version = we both had the first of the two shots, didn't feel good at all.  Said no to the 2nd one.

BTW - However,  Shingles can be very nasty.  Female pharmacist's husband is a dentist.  Said he had a patient who had shingles in his jaw area.  Would come in for a Novocaine shot to be able to eat!  Another friend had it which affected her hearing for about two weeks. (Couldn't hear out of one ear).

If the vaccinations at least "help" to lessen any of those - that's good enough for me.

.

 

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Mrs. C. and I have been getting the flu shot for years and haven't had any strain of the flu in as many years.  When we turned 65 we began receiving the High Dose which does last longer than the "regular dose" so we get the shot as soon as possible.  For this year we received the shot a month ago.  The only way to get a case of the flu after the shot is if you contract a different strain which the doctors will tell you is rare, (but it can happen).  Another way of catching a mild strain is if you take the live dose which is through the nose.  If you don't have underlying health issues you can always take a chance, however if you do have other health issues it would be advisable to get the shot and the high dose shot if you are over 65.

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As far as the shingles shot goes, I had the old one. Didn’t have an issue with the shot itself, but I had a mild case several years later. It wasn’t fun, and since it was a minor case, I sure don’t want a bad case.

When the new one came out, I got it right away, right before a trip to Alaska. I knew I would return right before the 6 month limit for the 2nd shot.

Only issue I had was that I had a strong local reaction to the first one, my arm swelled up. It was enough that I asked my doctor about it and he thought it would still be ok, that the new one was more likely to do that.

I returned from Alaska and had forgotten all about the reaction, just made a point that I got the second one before the 6 months were up. I broke out with hives (systemic allergic reaction), so I’m very happy that I could get the second one in time and it’s a one-time series. I don’t have to have another one.

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6 hours ago, Mr. Camper said:

The only way to get a case of the flu after the shot is if you contract a different strain.

Flu vaccine induced immunity for a particular strain is not eternal. It's usually effective for less than 6 months.

Edited by DanZemke

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26 minutes ago, fpmtngal said:

As far as the shingles shot goes, I had the old one. Didn’t have an issue with the shot itself, but I had a mild case several years later. It wasn’t fun, and since it was a minor case, I sure don’t want a bad case.

When the new one came out, I got it right away, right before a trip to Alaska. I knew I would return right before the 6 month limit for the 2nd shot.

Only issue I had was that I had a strong local reaction to the first one, my arm swelled up. It was enough that I asked my doctor about it and he thought it would still be ok, that the new one was more likely to do that.

I returned from Alaska and had forgotten all about the reaction, just made a point that I got the second one before the 6 months were up. I broke out with hives (systemic allergic reaction), so I’m very happy that I could get the second one in time and it’s a one-time series. I don’t have to have another one.

I had the old one too, and the later two dose version as well.  The only reaction I had was mild pain in the injection area for a few days.

My intended point is that reactions to the vaccine injections vary.  In my case, I considered them to be trivial.  But I was fortunate.  Other people like you experienced more pain. 

Still, the result of a shingles infection can be horrific, and not just temporary.

Edited by DanZemke

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I am one of those so-called on here idiot since I never get flu shots. Don't believe I have ever had it. I don't even get seasonal colds anymore since started eating more fruits. 

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1 hour ago, GlennWest said:

I am one of those so-called on here idiot since I never get flu shots. Don't believe I have ever had it. I don't even get seasonal colds anymore since started eating more fruits. 

One of the wife's friends is like that.  Just doesn't get sick.

Here's my "reaction" to a vaccination story:  USAF basic training.  In "T" shirts ...."line up in columns of two!"  Walk between two guys with the vaccination "guns".  Then move on to two more.  Get the full array of vaccinations for everything under the sun - in each arm......including Smallpox.  They didn't care whether you had one, some, or any previously - you got ALL the shots.

About a week later my neck "broke out" in what resembled the smallpox vaccination site.  Itched like crazy  Wouldn't go away - and of course you couldn't go to the local drug store for "something".  So you went to the dispensary - to see a doc.   "You've got cow pox or shaving rash - here's some ointment".  I was 21, been shaving since I was 18 = NOT !  Eventually when that didn't work out - I go to the main dispensary on a Saturday. Couple of guys on duty - one falling asleep, other one watching TV - couldn't care less......until the "stuff" hit the fan!  A couple of guys who (also) were getting nowhere, went to a civilian hospital on their first off-base pass.  Civilian Doc calls the base commander.  One guy had strep throat, other one just a bad sore throat.

"We" all get a ride in an ambulance to the USAF Hospital.  Doc takes one look at me, and sends me up to the Contagious Diseases Ward.  "Smallpox Vaccinia". Not contagious - but *no* shaving for 10 days.  Saturate my neck with Burrows Solution (Aluminum Acetate solution) as needed - order meals.  Enjoy the camaraderie, watch TV, etc. -  nickname was  "Moses"!

Still use the Burrows Solution for any contact dermatitis - works great, sold under the name "Domboro".

>

 

Edited by Pappy Yokum

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DW & I got our flu shots the first few days in September.  We get our shots every year.

Last year (2019) we got our shots in September and I came down with the flu in February 2020.  I was back to about 90% in 6-7 days and 100% in 10 days.

DW got the flu from me about 8 days after I came down with it and was in intensive care for 9 days with double pneumonia which turned into sepsis.  

The infectious disease specialist thinks we came down with type A flu whereas the flu shot was for type B.  

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On 9/19/2020 at 10:40 AM, Barbaraok said:

The old myths about becoming ill from the flu shot always remain because people don't understand basic physiology.  .....

Many years ago it was no myth.  The worst 2 cases of flu I ever got were from the flu shot.  That supposedly has been fixed and has been fixed for at least 10 or 15 years.  The last time I got the flu shot was about that many years ago.  I did not get the flu.  Instead I had an immediate allergic reaction and my throat started to close.  Fortunately that past fairly quickly but I never pushed it again.

I suppose I should not speak poorly of the flu vaccine.  Even if I don't take it, it might help if others do.  Of course some years the vaccine is so ineffective it hardly matters.

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No Jim, you did not get the flu from taking the flu vaccine.  Either already had the virus in you and there was no time for the body to make antibodies against the flu (takes 2 weeks).    Or  it could  be the case that the flu strain that you were infected with was not included in that year's vaccine - it is always a balancing act to try and figure out which flu strains will be circulating and which have mutated enough to warrant their being included in the vaccine.    Generally, even if you get the flu, having had the vaccine will lessen the severity of the disease.  

Now if you have a reaction when you get the shot, you should investigate with an allergist because you may have a allergy to  some egg protein,  or something else in the vaccine.   There are people that are people who can't take a number of vaccines because of how they are produced.

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Al, 

That's always a problem with the flu vaccines, trying to figure out which of the different flu viruses will be circulating.    So sorry you caught a strain that wasn't included in last year's vaccine.   The flu can be really, really serious .   

 

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5 hours ago, Al F said:

Last year (2019) we got our shots in September and I came down with the flu in February 2020. 

Immunity from a flu shot only lasts about 6 months so if you get yours in early Sept. and flue in late Feb. your 6 months of protection was expired. It was probably declining by that point. Pam's doctor used to tell us to wait until mid October to get them because of the length of time it lasts and the flu isn't usually too bad until about November. This year the doctor said to get them early because of the risk with covid19 as she felt Pam's risk is too high to wait. If the flu is still rampant at that point we will just get a second shot in Feb. Medicare won't pay for the second one but our plan G supplement would. 

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5 hours ago, Kirk W said:

 If the flu is still rampant at that point we will just get a second shot in Feb. Medicare won't pay for the second one but our plan G supplement would. 

Good to know, Kirk.   Thanks for mentioning.   My wife and I are, and have been, Flu Vaccine people... pneumonia vaccine, etc.   Plus, we are both 70, and Alice is subject to pneumonia.   We don't take chances. 

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So I was recently hospitalized with pneumonia. This is led to some spirited conversation with the doctor because I have had both PCV13 and PPSV23 pneumonia shots. Of course, my case turned out to be caused by something that the shots did not protect against. This led to a discussion of the flu shots. The flu vaccine covers four different strains of flu and, per him, they look at Australia since they are coming off their winter, to provide a key as to what those strains should be. I will be honest and say that I have never taken a flu shot since I retired from the military 30 years ago and have not had the flu and can count the times I have had a cold on one hand. 

This year, I am going to get a flu shot. The reason is simple, if I get sick I would like to be able to say I had it to assist the doctors in my treatment in isolating whether it is flu or COVID. 

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