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« Which File Extension Are You? | Main | Whom to Laugh At? »

December 09, 2005

Flu Shots

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

How's your record with flu shots? Until a few years ago, I was convinced they helped me. If I managed them properly, that is. Early on, I learned -- at the cost of some pain -- that I needed to take it easy for a few days after getting a flu shot. Otherwise: flu shot=instant case of the flu. Nevertheless I had the general impression that, thanks to flu shots, I was spending a little less time sick than I otherwise would. I seemed to come down with one bad flu a season instead of my usual two, and to spend fewer days laid out with colds.

Recently, though ... Well, last year's an example. I was busy, scatterbrained, whatever -- and I overlooked getting a flu shot. Unexpected result: no flus whatsoever. I enjoyed a robust and delightful winter. This year, it was The Wife's turn to skip the flu shot. She hasn't had to endure a snuffle or a headache yet, at least not one that wasn't champagne-related. Me, I've been back to being health-diligent, and so lined up for a flu shot early on. Result: I'm now in the bleary depths of my second misery-making bad cold of the season.

And it isn't even Jan. 1 yet ...

Ah-choo, and best,

Michael

UPDATE: DarkoV gets his shot and promptly comes down with the flu. What's in those syringes anyway?

posted by Michael at December 9, 2005




Comments

I'm with you there, Michael. In fact, I was there 9 days ago.

http://pertinentverge.blogspot.com/2005/11/remedies.html

Not a pleasant place to be, as you noted and basically a crap shoot, IMHO, regardless of what the medical experts have to say.

Posted by: DarkoV on December 9, 2005 12:54 PM



I've only ever gotten a flu shot once, and I noticed no difference---didn't get the flu, either way. I get sinus infections. Only antibiotics will do. And I didn't get them any less with a flu shot.

Posted by: annette on December 9, 2005 1:16 PM



Flu shot, like any vaccine, is a weakened version of the desease. That's what I learned by heart on baby vaccination courses for young mothers 18 yrs ago.
Expect all the symptoms but in easier form; state of your immune system counts: if you're weakened already by some other ailment,or overstressed or you're over 15yo - you'll get the full-blown version of the desease you're trying to avoid.
Conclusion: no flu shots for me. Or any other vaccination, for that matter. I only made one exception: before vacationing in Tobago I called the consulate and asked about local deseases they're recommending to get vaccinated against. And then didn't do any.

Michael, I told you already of the best medicine for your condition and you're bad, bad patient, you didn't comply. You waiting for me to present it on a silver platter?

May be then you'll recover in time to attend.


Posted by: Tatyana on December 9, 2005 2:03 PM



Tatyana -- I'd love to, many thanks, but my dance card's already full that evening. (Funnily enough, a get-together with some people I also met online.) Sounds like loads of fun. But I'll definitely be following your how-to-deal-with-a-cold advice later tonight.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on December 9, 2005 4:14 PM



It's lucky if your flu shot only gave you the flu. I know some people who were thrown into major cases of the shingles.

Today a reporter opined that the major drug companies had "picked all the low hanging fruit" for useful drugs. Maybe it's time for a new paradigm.

Prairie Mary

Posted by: Mary Scriver on December 9, 2005 5:17 PM



The flu shot contains a small amount of dead, or killed, flu viruses. You canít get the flu from the shot, although some people (but this isnít standard or predictable) can get flu-like symptoms as a reaction. And if vaccinations are bad, shouldnít most of us be dead from smallpox or polio vaccinations?

Since shingles is caused by a chickenpox virus, I would really like to know how it is triggered by a flu shot.

That said, Iíve never seen too much that quantifies the effectiveness of flu shots, so maybe there is a bit of a crapshoot to the whole thing. On the other hand, tons of folk happily gobble vitamins and herbal ďmedicinesĒ without a scintilla of evidence of their effectiveness, so itís down to whatever makes you feel secure.

Posted by: Alec on December 11, 2005 2:03 AM



Very rarely, indeed hardly ever, does one get the flu from a flu shot. The head cold season starts sooner than the flu season, which means that people often get head colds around the time they get flu shots, and many--most?--people can't tell the difference between flu and cold.

The real reason you get a flu shot is not so you don't get the flu. It is so you don't pass the flu to those of your fellow men and women who can least abide it--the immuno-deficient, like diabetics, those with HIV, the elderly, and so on.

Getting a flu shot is a moral imperative, IMHO.

Francis

Posted by: Francis Morrone on December 16, 2005 12:14 AM



I DONT KNOW HOW PEOPLE THINK YOU DONT GET A THE FLU VIRUS FROM THE FLU SHOT....IF YOU DIDNT...THEN IT WOULDNT "WORK". THEY INJECT YOU WITH THE VIRUS...A WEAK VERSION OF THE "POPULAR STRAND" SO THAT YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM CAN RESPOND AND HOPEFULLY BE STRONGER AGAINST THAT STRAND WHEN YOU REALLY GET IT DURNING THE SEASON...PROBLEM...DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW MANY STRANDS THERE ARE? ANOTHER PROBLEM...DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW MUCH THE DOCTORS GET FOR A KICK BACK IN GIVING THESE THINGS OUT LIKE THEY ARE CANDY? I AM AT HOME RIGHT NOW WITH A BABY THAT GOT A FLU SHOT ABOUT A WEEK AGO THAT WONT STOP CRYING, WONT EAT, AND HAS HAD A FEVER EVER SINCE A LITTLE AFTER HE GOT HIS FIRST FLU SHOT AT 1 YEAR OLD. HE DOESNT GO OUT OF THE HOUSE MUCH, HE ISNT EXPOSED TO ANYONE THAT MIGHT HAVE THE VIRUS, ISNT IN DAY CARE OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT....SO WHY ON EARTH WOULD THE DOCTOR RECOMMEND IT??? HMM I WONDER. I MYSELF HAVE ONLY HAD A FLU SHOT ONCE. AT AROUND THE AGE OF 20-21 AND I GOT SICK FOR ABOUT A MONTH AND LOST ABOUT 10-15LBS, THATS NOT GOOD EITHER BECAUSE I AM ALREADY SKINNY. I HAVENT GOTTEN ONE SINCE AND HAVENT GOTTEN THE FLU ONCE AND I'M NOW 28. MY WIFE GOT ONE TWO YEARS AGO AND HER WHOLE FAMILY GOT SICK WITHIN WEEKS OF HER GETTING THE SHOT.

Posted by: WILL on December 26, 2005 11:16 AM






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