questionsflu shots. yes or no?

vote-for48vote-against
vote-for7vote-against

Never had one, and so far I've made it 50 years. My wife however was required to get one from her workplace, a medical clinic.

vote-for14vote-against

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

I get mine first thing every year; one year I missed my appointment, got it two weeks later and came down with the flu 2 days after I got the shot. :(

Never mind the plague monkeys my coworkers call children. Yech.

vote-for14vote-against

i have never gotten a flu shot. never.
i use to work in food productions so they "strongly urged" everyone to get it, even had it as part of the insurance coverage.
i have gotten a few cases of the flu over the years. so what. it makes your immune system grow stronger.

vote-for13vote-against

I had some lung thing when I was a kid and they told me that I needed to get one every year or else risk disturbing whatever demons lie in my breathing toobs by getting a bad sickness. It's been easy and cheap to do so I do it, and I've never gotten the flu- but correlation is not necessarily causation.

vote-for10vote-against

I've never had one, and never plan on getting one. I'll take my chances!

vote-for12vote-against

Never have, most likely never will.

vote-for9vote-against

The first time I got one I got the flu, I normally do not get sick so I pass on it from now on.

vote-for5vote-against

I never had one until last year. Got one this year. I am pretty adamant in the debate about vaccines, though, so I'm happy to start in on the flu shot. We get them free at work each year, anyways.

vote-for3vote-against

@agingdragqueen: I'm with you on this. A simple chest cold can easily turn into major bronchitis or pneumonia for me so I hedge my bets and get the flu shot every year. Whether that is the reason I can't be sure, but I haven't had a terrible flu since I've been getting the shot. I do still occasionally get colds though. In fact, this year my husband had something pretty bad that knocked him out for almost a week (and he never gets sick) just a few days after I got my shot. I never picked that illness up. He refuses any type of medicine he can, aside from Nyquil and zicam so no shot for him.

vote-for3vote-against

Yes! I get mine through the fire department, and I get it the first day it's offered.

vote-for6vote-against

Yes, yes and yes. I've got three school age kids, so flu shots are a must. And I think they do make a difference. Last year, I got the shot and the flu, but it was a 24hr deal. Runny nose and I ached - went to bed and it was pretty much gone the next morning. The one member of our family who didn't have a shot ended up with a week long flu. Tetchy stomach, general malaise and the whole nine years.

The one person who didn't get the shot didn't for medical reasons. Did you know that the flu shot is cultured with an egg so those with egg allergies can't get them? I try to get the rest of us shots so that one person is protected as best as I can do.

vote-for6vote-against

If you're at the right age - very young or above middle age - then definitely do it. Otherwise, it depends on how strong your immune system is. Building up your own antibodies is definitely better for you if you don't end up sick. But only you know how good you are at fighting off an infection on your own.

vote-for7vote-against

@moosezilla: No, being exposed to one type of flu DOES NOT make your immune system grow stronger. It makes you resistant to last year's flu virus strain, which does not give you any immunity to a different strain. The virus changes with time, which allows it to avoid immunity. See this wikipedia article for why getting exposec to one variant doesn't protect you from another.

In recent history, no flu variant has been virulent enough to infect the majority of the population. The worry is that a new variant will be easily transmitted, so it'll cause a pandemic, quickly moving through the unprotected population. By not being immunized, you're choosing to be both a potential victim and a transmitter of the virus. Maybe you'll stay lucky, and odds are that you will.

Of course, there's the worry that the current shot isn't targeted for the right variant... if it protects you from H5N1 but H3N2 is rampant, then the shot won't help.

vote-for5vote-against

I've had the flu shot every year for the past 20 years without missing it once. Never has it made me sick, and never have I caught the flu. I highly recommend it.

vote-for7vote-against

@caffeine_dude: Are you familiar with the phrase "correlation is not causation"? People often say "I got the flu shot and the flu in the same year, so it must have come from the shot" all the time without thinking over the full situation.
Where did you go to get the flu shot? Your doctor's office perhaps? I would suspect you sat in a waiting room with people who already had the flu...
When in the season did you get the shot? Many people don't get the shot early enough in the season. If you get it at the peak of the season for your area, you might not build up immunity through it in time - it usually takes about a week.
Did you know anyone else who caught the flu that year?

I've had the shot every year for 20 years running now. Not once have I caught the flu. The fraction of people who get the flu shot and get the flu from it is so miniscule that you nearly have a better chance of being hit by lightning while on your way home from getting it.

vote-for4vote-against

I tend to get one. Almost every year I didn't get the shot I got a bad flu that lasted for at least a week. I've noticed I don't get that sick when I get the shot. Also the shot itself has never made me sick, I just get a sore arm for a couple days.

vote-for4vote-against

Yes, this is the first year that I ever got one. Last year I had a what seemed to be a chest cold that turned in to pneumonia. It was horrible, I was off a week from work, maybe more (I never use my sick days). Only times I ever remember being that miserable was when I had the chickpox at age 28 and when I was a teenager I had bronchitis once. So I got one this year not only for myself, but because of the time I spend with my Mom who is in her 70's and I don't want to get her sick (she started getting them after she was hospitalized from pneumonia about 15 years ago).

vote-for3vote-against

Every year for the last 34 years, except once when the vacine wasn't available when I was.

Haven't had the flu in at least 40 years.

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I get a flu shot every year they are offered at work (covered by insurance). The one year I didn't get one (some shortage of the vaccine) I got a nasty case of the flu right after I came back from a business trip. It didn't kill me but I felt like death would have been preferable for a bit there. Plus it buggered up my sleep schedule something awful due to having worked nights on the trip. I was miserable for a week.
I've got a healthy immune system but I don't mind giving it a little help now and then if I can prevent getting nasty illnesses, particularly the kind that seem to strike at just the wrong time.

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@miyoshinum5: The sore arm is common, which is why I always get it in my non-dominant arm.

Once, I was given the shot by a nurse who didn't appreciate how little flesh I had on my arm. The needle hit the bone of my arm - that hurt like all kinds of things I should not mention in mixed company. When I broke my wrist years later, that hurt a lot less than the needle that hit my arm. When I fell of my bicycle and separated my shoulder, that also hurt a lot less than the needle hitting my arm. Of course, that had nothing to do with the vaccine being for the flu, it could have come from any vaccine.

vote-for6vote-against

I have never had a flu shot, my Dad gets one every year and he is sick 2 weeks later

vote-for3vote-against

The last 3 times I've gotten the flu shot, I've also gotten the flu. So I'm out. Also, last year a lot of people got sick within a few days of being given the shot...

vote-for7vote-against

The flu shot is usually good for about three strains of flu, the three that the CDC think are going to be the worst, the kind that put you in the hospital. Nothing to do with the kind that knocks you on your can for a week. There are hundreds (maybe thousands) of other strains of flu that are all too easy to catch. I get one every year.

vote-for4vote-against

I'm forced to get each year due to an ongoing health issue.
My doctors have always told me to get the shot no earlier than the second or third week of November. The vaccines created and dispensed before that are just "educated" guesses. By late-October to early-November a variation of the flu will have already been diagnosed and the manufacturers of the vaccine have a better idea of what strain or strains will most likely hit the public, and can then quickly make the vaccine needed to keep us sickos healthy. (hack hack)

vote-for5vote-against

If you're gonna be around a lot of people who could have the flu, are older (older than 65, usually is the general rule), or are immune compromised, then yes you need a flu shot. More than yes. I'd give it a YES, get a flu shot NOW. But if you have a perfectly healthy immune system, and aren't going to be around people who could have it, I'd say you're in the clear. Also, if you get it and you wind up with the flu, don't blame the shot. You already had the flu when you got the shot and didn't experience the symptoms for a few days. Also, don't go if you've had a fever within the past week, are allergic to eggs or have had a bad reaction to flu shots before.

Also also, if you can, get the brand spankin' new Intradermal flu vaccination. It stings a decent bit more than the IM (intramuscular) injections, but there isn't any soreness involved. You may also feel some flu-like symptoms a short while afterward, but they're common and last only a short time.

vote-for8vote-against

Daily vitamin C & Vitamin D3 dosage keeps the cold and flu away for me...No shot needed that contains harmful chemicals like mercury etc.

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@smasumur: Funny how it all works out: when my son & niece finished school, we all stopped getting sick! Little plague carriers...

vote-for6vote-against

I guess if you want to play the odds, you could get one and then pray the only strain of influenza you come in contact with is the strain for which you've been vaccinated. @rhmurphy is correct! There are more out there than one strain of influenza.

I have a few friends who are nurses who swore the years where they opted in were the years they were the sickest they've ever been. They now opt out. My eldest daughter was more or less forced to get one recently and had a week of light flu symptoms. Felt like hell on her birthday.

Take that as you will. I'll be choosing not to get one.

vote-for6vote-against

@misterron: No, it doesn't work that way.

The pointy heads at CDC and similar organizations in other countries meet twice a year (once for the Northern hemisphere season, once for the Southern) and on the basis of ongoing surviellience decide which strains to put in the vaccine for that year. For the Northern hemisphere, the decision is made in February.

It takes about 3 to 4 months to develop, prepare, and distribute the vaccine. The vaccine is not altered mid season. If there is some late breaking development (as in the H1N1 that popped up in the summer) a separate vaccine has to be developed and done separately. That was loads of fun, if anybody else remembers.

CDC has a nice summary here, if you are interested.

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/vaccination/virusqa.htm

vote-for5vote-against

The seasonal flu shot contains a weakened flu virus, and a chemical designed to amplify your immune system response - which is why some people feel sick shortly after getting the flu shot.

I don't get one, because the shot puts me down for a few days. It's been years since I've gotten one, and have only had one case of the flu since I stopped.

I also think that getting the shot makes people less careful about avoiding the flu. Skip the hand sanitizers and use soap and hot water. And NEVER touch your face unless you have recently washed your hands.

vote-for4vote-against

I used to get it every year since it was covered by my former insurance, but the last two times I got it I got the flu shortly after the shot. I figure why waste an hour of my time waiting in line for the shot since I'm not in any critical field where I'd be at higher risk.

I haven't had the shot in 3 years and I've been flu free each year. Now excuse me while I go knock on wood so I don't jinx myself

Put me down as a solid no.

vote-for4vote-against

Every single time I have gotten the shot, I have gotten a very sore arm and a mild case of the flu later the same day, that has kept me sick all day and the next day. In years that I don't get the shot, I would estimate I get the flu about 35% - 40% of the time. I've decided to avoid the flu shot and take my chances with the actual flu.

You can say "you were sick already" all you want but my personal observation has been that when I get the shot, I get the flu the same day, 100% of the time. To me that's not circumstantial.

vote-for4vote-against

Every year, my office had a flu season. Usually someone caught it from their kids and spread it around to everyone else. We would have been so much better off, if they would only have stayed home, but no, they had to come to work and finish their "important" project. Then flu shots were covered by our health plan, and the company brought in a nurse to give us all the shots. (And family members could get them if insured.) Flu season went away. Yes, one or two people still came down with something, but it was a huge difference.
I will always get the shot, and as soon as it is available.

vote-for3vote-against

I have had a bona fide case of the flu (not just a bad cold) exactly twice: the first time immediately after visiting Europe on a business trip and the second time after being exposed to a coworker who just returned from a business trip to Europe. I've only ever had a flu shot twice (neither coincided with my bouts with the flu). So getting the shot isn't a big priority for me, but I try to limit my exposure to travelers during flu season.

I've noticed that after about age 45, I rarely ever get sick (vs. when I was younger I got sick a lot). And I still have kids in public school (AKA Bio-warfare test labs)! I don't know why I suddenly seem to be healthier, but I'm not complaining.

vote-for5vote-against

I'm a no. As mentioned previously the CDC just guesses some strains a few months before. I read (didn't do any research to see if this was true) that the couple of year where they guessed completely wrong the flu related deaths that year were in the same range as the years they guessed correctly. Also, people get the "flu" a lot less than they think. Many times people are sick it is a viral infection, cold, etc.

vote-for6vote-against

I'd rather limit the amount of foreign chemicals being injected into my body.

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@cms1776: Vitamin C is always useful ... if you are worried about coming down with Scurvy. The US is literally sitting on one of the world's largest supplies of high-purity vitamin C. Know where it is? In the sewer system. Americans take in so much more vitamin C than they can process that an absurd amount is passed through and flushed down the toilet.

Thankfully, even at the stupid high levels that far too many Americans consume vitamin C, it still isn't toxic. Not useful, but not toxic either.

vote-for2vote-against

There were signs posted at work a couple weeks ago, urging everyone to get a flu shot (you pay, of course, no way the company is going to) and extolling the benefits (to the company) in terms of reducing 'lost time due to sickness' and such. However, one of the little factoids was "1 in 5 people will get the flu".

The signs lasted about three days, then were taken down when the company figured out everyone was saying "that means 4 in 5 won't...I'll take those odds". Sorry Big Pharma, but you really need to have a discussion with this year's ad agency.