QOTD — Have You Gotten a Flu Shot?

Filed in National by on January 11, 2013

The news for the last few days has been filled with stories on the numbers, geographical location and the suffering of people contracting the flu this year. Suddenly, everyone is giving you scary info and urging you to get flu shots.

Google Flu Trends is showing flu activity to be pretty intense all over the country:

So what do you do? Do you get flu shots or do you ignore the hype and expect to be OK?

Last time I got a flu shot, I got the flu. But then, it gave me time off enough to watch the first three seasons of the Sopranos AND all of the commentary. Haven’t had one since.

Let us know your strategy in the comments.

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  1. Jason330 says:

    I don’t get a flu shot. I’m not opposed to people getting flu shots, though. Live and let live.

    Wash your hands,
    Wash your hands,
    Wash your hands,

  2. Jason330 says:

    BTW – there was a cool map on NBC news last night. The whole Country, west of Reno, was red with the flu except for little Delaware. A bright white spot of relative flu-less-ness.

  3. Another Mike says:

    I have never gotten a flu shot.

  4. Jason330 says:

    Oops. I meant east of Reno, or course.

  5. socialistic ben says:

    didnt get the shot, but I think I had the flu last week. I say think because, knock on wood… I have always had a fairly strong immune system and have never gotten REALLY sick, nor do I stay ill for long.
    Im interested to know if recent BS about vaccines causing autism and liberalism has affected the number of people who get flu shots, and thus caused a pandemic. I always knew conservative moronicy would kill us all, maybe this is it.

  6. V says:

    EVERY time i get a flu shot i get the flu. Then i don’t get one for a few years. Then i break down and get a flue shot because i remember how awful it was last time i got the flu, and i dont want to get it again. Then i get the flu.

  7. Marcy says:

    Ben, you don’t “think” you had the flu. You know it. Having had it several years ago – first time in over 15 years that I had to use my sick time – I will never, ever not get a shot. It was horrific and I never want to go through that hell again.

  8. John Young says:

    I don’t get a flu shot. I’m not opposed to people getting flu shots, though. Live and let live.

    Is it OK then for kids to not get their shots and be let in school then?

  9. John Young says:

    My son and I are vaccinated against the flu this year (and every), my wife is currently not, but I am lobbying hard.

  10. Jason330 says:

    JY hell no. Those nitwits are putting everyone at risk.

  11. Demented Dems says:

    I remember Bush getting hammered by lack of flu vaccine in 2004. Where is the press today? In Obama’s back pocket.

  12. Joanne Christian says:

    I have NEVER, NEVER, EVER, EVER had a flu shot. Until this year. We’ll see.

    I encourage all adults though to re-immunize for pertussis (whooping cough). That’s a fabulous shot to get, and it has your nice little tetanus booster in there. That shot is fabulous–you’ve expired your immunity since childhood, and this ditty keeps all those nasty chest colds or coughs (even if all you get is a yearly rot, and have come to expect it) at bay. The added tetanus booster is great, so you don’t end up with a shot in your arm also, after you gashed your hand chopping wood, or sliced your knee removing room unit air conditioners for the in-laws. Most people can’t remember their last tetanus shot. Anyway, get it–Addecell is one brand, but I’m sure more are out there. About 35 bucks, if your insurance doesn’t cover it.

  13. ek says:

    I get a flu shot every year. I think it’s the right thing to do for yourself and everyone around you.

  14. John Young says:

    I find incongruity in your position Jason. You express that I’m not opposed to people getting flu shots, though. Live and let live.

    but then take issue with children not immunizing? Confusing.

    Again, I vaccinate my son and always have, just curious.

  15. Joanne Christian says:

    pssssst…John—it’s jason being facetious. or jason being Amish. Either way–it’s OK. :)

  16. Jason330 says:

    I don’t think flu shots have the same public health impact as vaccinations.

  17. fightingbluehen says:

    I was at the doctor Wednesday getting my shoulder looked at and I noticed a sign that said flu shots fifteen bucks, so I said what the hell, and got one. Made my arm sore and I don’t feel so good.

  18. Joanne Christian says:

    I hear ya jason, but I got one this year–we’ll compare notes on how we impacted public health. You know, sick for Super Bowl Sunday vs. another Long Winter Weekend in the Caymans.

    FBH-but didn’t your shoulder already hurt?

  19. Roland D. Lebay says:

    Never had a flu shot.

    I worked w/ a guy who was a constable in Delco, PA. He regularly transported prisoners & came into contact w/ people of questionable hygiene. He got a flu shot every year. He also got the flu every year for the 17 years I knew him. In that time, I got the flu maybe 7 times and most of those were after my oldest child started elementary school. K-12 schools, elementary schools in particular, are little disease factories!

    I work in a 3 person small business. My 2 coworkers have been sick with the flu this week. I’ve managed to avoid the flu so far. They both have young children. I don’t. My youngest child is now 13 and she’s very health/hygiene conscious.

    @John Young- The flu vaccine is quite different from the polio, MMR & other common vaccines. Influenza virus mutates yearly & the effectiveness of the vaccine varies year to year. The CDC claims this year’s vaccine is “moderately effective”.

    http://www.examiner.com/article/cdc-estimates-flu-vaccine-effectiveness

  20. fightingbluehen says:

    “FBH-but didn’t your shoulder already hurt?”

    Yeah, and they gave me the shot in the same arm. They said the new intradermal as opposed to the subcutaneous injections don’t make your arm sore, but I must have had a slight reaction at the site because it’s red and swollen.

  21. Roland D. Lebay says:

    FBH-

    CDC says the flu shot should be administered via intramuscular injection:

    http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/vaxadmin.htm#incorrect-dose

  22. Aoine says:

    Don’t get the flu shot- don’t get the flu either

    As a matter of fact, no one in my household gets the flu shot…….and no one in my household gets the flu either

    Must be doing something right…….wish I could bottle it and make a fortune….

    Oh, we ummmmmm eat right, no processed foods, little sugar, and wash our hands, go out side in winter in the snow barefoot to bring in wood, t-shirts to bring out the trash and recycling ……wet hair in the winter, little concern about getting wet in the rain…….

    And drink copiousness amount of alcohol on the weekends, adults anyway……

  23. martin van buren says:

    ah, the liberal version of black-helicopter paranoia. science-deniers are found on both sides.

  24. puck says:

    It’s unlikely anybody gets the flu seven years in a row. People who self-diagnose with the flu almost always have a common cold.

    For some people their arm is sore and you might feel achy or have a slight fever for a day or so. It’s just an immune response to the foreign substance, not an actual illness. In fact that is the root of the myth that flu shots give you the flu. If you think that is bad then you have never had the flu. Suck it up and get the shot for the children and senior citizens around you.

    If you get the shot, you can theoretically get the flu for a week or two before it is fully effective. That is also why there are anecdotes of people getting the shot and then getting the flu. That is also why you should get the shot early.

    If you don’t get the shot and nobody in your house gets the flu – you have herd immunity to thank. You’re welcome.

    A new mutated flu virus emerges in Asia each year. Western scientists have a few months to develop a new vaccine each year before it gets here. That’s why the effectiveness varies.

  25. pandora says:

    Flu shots here!

    Two years ago I got the flu (had missed my shot that year) and I never want to experience that again.

  26. Joanne Christian says:

    I’m not pro or anti flu shots. It’s the yearly drill we deal with in healthcare. What I do object to is employers mandating people get one. And more than that I hate big pharma and drugstores promoting the shot year round. Good luck with your “beat the crowd” attitude of getting one in June to expect the same “shelf life” of protection by February of the next year. Greatest immunity is 2-18 weeks after injection. Which is why it was always best to get the shot between October 15th and January 15th. Flu season used to be considered officially “over” March 15th. Now, they have consumers all over the place in timing, and interestingly we are screwed in statistics now. Funny correlation huh? But nobody listens to me, except the healthy ones!

    Yes, if you are older, or immunocompromised get a flu shot. Me, I had the immune system of a battleship–but the last six months some serious, recoverable health snafus. So, this year I get a flu shot. So far so good. Next year—stay tuned. I’m not adamant, but prudent–and that includes allowing my body some degree of “immunity stretching’ to excercise basic body defenses we are able to call upon and survive thru in common human maladies. For my children, again–some I get it for, and some I don’t–my “catch everything kids, and have chronic health problems”, get a flu shot. The hale and hearty ones, either didn’t thru benign neglect or we just passed on it.

    And you never “think” you had the “flu” last week, over the weekend etc.. What you had was a “bug”. You KNOW and REMEMBER when you had the flu. It no way compares to the flu–the real flu–where you know a truck just ran you over from one minute feeling perfectly normal, your HAIR hurts, your chest coughs enough to power a sailboat, you are so weak and dehydrated you are grateful you don’t have to get out of bed to urinate, grateful you may have escaped the intestinal, stomach component and it LASTS for up to two weeks of active symptoms and 6 weeks with residual cough, and getting your bearings back again from weakness. That’s the flu. And that’s what I say is nature’s big way of helping us develop empathy for those who have gotten a “bug” or really did get the flu. Because that is huge in how we treat people going forward. So yes, winter of 1983 was the last time I had the flu–3000 miles away from home, and so kindly cared for by an interim housemate, and seasoned colleagues at work, all I’d just met 3 days prior to the start of the new job.

    The “bug” rekindles our empathy is all I’m saying. And may be enough to push people to a flu shot remembering the short term misery.

  27. Roland D. Lebay says:

    puck-It’s unlikely anybody gets the flu seven years in a row. People who self-diagnose with the flu almost always have a common cold.

    It’s even more unlikely that someone would get the flu 17 years in a row.

    Here’s what I know-
    The guy was obviously ill w/ flu-like symptoms every single year I worked w/him. I’m not a doctor, so I don’t know for sure he had the flu. I DO know that he was ill & missed several days of work each flu season. He looked & sounded awful for several days after returning to work. He took a relentless beating from his coworkers, as he was a big proponent of flu shots, yet seemed to get the flu every year.

    @martin van buren-
    I realize anecdotal evidence does not equal scientific evidence, and I don’t deny that one is probably less likely to get the flu if one has had a flu shot. GFY.

  28. Pencadermom says:

    If what Joanne says is true, about how bad the flu really is, then I guess I had a really bad cold last week and maybe not the flu, and I guess I haven’t had the flu since about 1987 or so. I do remember a year, living in the dorm, halfway through my college years, where I literally stayed in bed for over a week and thought I was going to die. So sick, that now, in 2013, I still vividly remember that week and how sick I was. I haven’t been that sick (at least they type of sickness) since then. Damn, I must have a pretty good immune system too. I have only had a flu shot once, ever. That was a few years back when we had the big swine flu scare. That was also the only year my kids have ever had the shot too. I have three kids. None have ever had the flu.
    A week or so ago I had a conversation with my dad about the flu. Reading these comments, I’m pretty sure my dad and Puck went to the exact same school of medicine, looks like you pretty much typed out my dad’s comments.

  29. kavips says:

    As a wizard, I do powder instead of shots…

  30. Joanne Christian says:

    LOL pencader mom and kavips….kavips, did you mean “powers” or powders? And pencader mom, seriously consider getting the Addacell shot (pertussis)–it truly cleans up much of those “cold” or “chest things” that seen to be yearly, or seasonally we get as adults. Plus the tetanus booster it has is an added bonus too. The shot lasts for years. Either your doctor’s office can give it–or you can get a prescription from them and the pharmacy can admin. it to you. Best thing ever!!!

    My sister’s pulmonologist said “oh yeh, I forgot about that one….” 5 years ago, when I sent her to get one, because she didn’t know if it was applicable for her……and he was “absolutely……” So, it really doesn’t get as promoted and pushed as a flu shot…. but geez it’s a whole bunch more valuable I think in the long run, and the years you get out of it.

    Probably because it’s more elective than either legislated or yearly (like the flu shot) that it just isn’t on the radar for general doctor visits. Anyway, this shot is a magic bullet. Had to say that for kavips to have fun with :).

  31. kavips says:

    Yes, I just heard it this week that pertussis is making a comeback in those who have been vaccinated 30 years ago as a child. The vaccine wears off.

    Whooping cough is safer now with antibiotics, but the cough continues to persist 4 or 5 weeks later… and one’s rib cage is never the same again….

    And I did mean powder. Instead of flu shots, a wizard would use flue powder as a means of transport in the Harry Potter books. :)

  32. John Young says:

    DTAP is a brilliant vaccine. Also, the annual flu shot is a must for me and son!

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