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Does the flu shot really work?

Discussion in 'The Poll Forum! Public Welcome To Participate' started by Kimster, Jan 8, 2014.

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Did you get a flu shot this season?

  1. Yes

    390 vote(s)
    56.6%
  2. No, I don't think they work

    137 vote(s)
    19.9%
  3. No, they are not safe

    88 vote(s)
    12.8%
  4. No, I have a health issue that doesn't allow it

    21 vote(s)
    3.0%
  5. Other: please explain

    53 vote(s)
    7.7%
  1. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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    How does that make sense? Isn't it better than nothing? Most insurance companies and even some stores provide them for free so it's not like we pay for them.

    My doctor explained that since flu viruses share a lot genetically with one another, even if a strain isn't covered by the shot that year:

    1. The shot can lessen the intensity of the strain someone contracts.

    2. Your immune system library is being built. So in the future, if you come in contact with any of the strains in the vaccine, your chances of contracting them are lower and the intensity if you do contract the virus will likely be lower, despite mutation.

    How is that a bad thing? Why are people so scared of vaccines? They are effective. 47% is effective.

    Flu vaccines will never be perfect. But they clearly help lower health care costs or insurance companies wouldn't ram them down people's throats the way they do.

    It's not like your paying $1,000.00 for a lightbulb that only works sometimes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
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  2. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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    It is important. The last time I caught a cold I was ill for almost two weeks and couldn't work. Because I have asthma.

    The flu can kill me.

    And what about little kids with conditions and the elderly?

    The anti-vaccination crowd can never explain why insurance companies promote vaccines so heavily if they're dangerous.

    I mean now these people are attributing not only autism but cancer, dementia, allergies, every single auto immune disorder, etc., to vaccines. With zero scientific backup.

    If any of that was true, health insurance companies have to bear the cost of those injuries.

    There would be no way to hide a mythical "kick back" from Big Pharma, large enough to make it worth the health insurance compnaies' while.

    In fact, the kick back would have to be so large it wouldn't be worth Big Pharma's while! They might as well forego promoting the world wide-death conspiracy all together.

    And that brings me to another issue the anti-vaccination crowd cannot explain. They're claiming that the world's doctors, including pediatricians, are almost all part of a vast, international conspiracy to sicken and kill innocent people so that they can make money (somehow) off vaccines.

    How on earth does that make sense? Really? Because the large majority believe in vaccines. So are they all evil murderers? And if so, how can anyone bring their kids or themselves to any medical professional for help? I mean if they believe in vaccines they're evil and dangerous, right?

    It's nonsensical.
     
  3. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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    Could you please explain how it's a scam?

    Some people are lucky and don't come in contact with the virus. But we've had seasons that have killed hundreds of kids and healthy young people.

    I don't understand why people feel it's okay to express dangerous opinions that are contrary to actual health care advice from scientists, the CDC and the world's doctors who went to college for years and underwent a grueling residency to acquire their knowledge.

    Because you've not gotten the flu a few times that means you have a better chance of not getting it? Or being "fine" in a couple of days?

    That's wrong. It's anecdote and it's dangerous.

    "CDC estimates that the burden of illness during the 2017–2018 season was also high with an estimated 48.8 million people getting sick with influenza, 22.7 million people going to a health care provider, 959,000 hospitalizations, and 79,400 deaths from influenza (Table 1). The number of cases of influenza-associated illness that occurred last season was the highest since the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, when an estimated 60 million people were sick with influenza6.

    The 2017–2018 influenza season was additionally atypical in that it was severe for all ages of the population5. The burden of influenza and the rates of influenza-associated hospitalization are generally higher for the very young and the very old, and while this was also true during the 2017–2018 season, rates of hospitalization in all age groups were the highest seasonal rates seen since hospital-based surveillance was expanded in 2005 to include all ages (Table 2). This translated into an estimated 11.5 million cases of influenza in children, 30 million cases of influenza in working age adults (aged 18-64 years), and more than 7.3 million cases in adults aged 65 years and older."
    Estimated Influenza Illnesses, Medical visits, Hospitalizations, and Deaths in the United States — 2017–2018 influenza season | CDC
    BBM.

    I'm sure the 79,000 people who died last season from the flu wouldn't appreciate people being told the vaccine is a scam and don't worry, you probably won't get it but if you do you will be alright.
     
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  4. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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    It's not.

    But some people feel under the weather sometimes when they get a flu shot. Anyone with kids or pets notices that:

    "According to the CDC, mild side effects from the flu shot include soreness, redness or swelling at the injection site, low-grade fever and aches. Only about 1 percent to 2 percent of people who get a flu shot will have fever as a side effect, Schaffner said."
    Flu Shot Facts & Side Effects (Updated for 2019-2020)
    BBM.

    I'm betting it's because the immune system is working overtime to address the vaccination that the body just received and protect the body from the virus the vaccine is meant to prevent.

    So it makes sense that someone might feel a bit yucky now and then. It's happened to me a couple times.

    Of course sometimes someone contracts an illness prior to getting the shot and because of the timing associates it with the shot.
     
  5. razzledazzle

    razzledazzle Well-Known Member

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    I voted "Other". I haven't taken the flu shot in the past 12 years. My prior job required the shot and I didn't mind having to take it. I have never had the flu. I decline it now mostly because I'm not a fan of needles.

    I'm middle-aged and healthy. There are no little kids, elderly or anyone susceptible that I am around on a regular, intimate basis. I'm basically in my own little world at work. I'm big on hand washing and disinfecting the bathrooms and kitchen. I just don't feel like I need it.
     
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  6. Indy Anna

    Indy Anna Well-Known Member

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    Not everyone is big on handwashing, though. Do you have contact during the day with things your coworkers or clients touched? And viruses are transferred from person to person through air droplets.
     
  7. Nadi

    Nadi Active Member

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    It's interesting that most anti-vaxxers are anti "big pharma" and allude to big pharma having a financial interest in scamming people etc however almost all of the "doctors", specialists, websites etc involved in the anti vaxx movement have a huge vested interest in promoting anti-vaxx. Without fail the websites promoting anti-vaxx have a shop section. Everything from books, to immune boosting supplements to natural organic Vaccine alternatives. None of them are actual researchers or have any credible, substantiated science to back their claims and many of them have actually been discredited. Yet people choose to ignore that. I'm constantly baffled why people will ignore the advice from their family physician/pediatrician in favour of people/websites who have no relevant medical background who actually have much to gain financially from promoting anti-vcxx.
     
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  8. Indy Anna

    Indy Anna Well-Known Member

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    I've known people who don't trust government agencies like the NIH and FDA because they think anything linked to the government is a conspiracy, but they cite "doctors" on the Internet who are selling "health potions" or books for financial gain, and whose credentials they can't even prove.
     
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  9. firebird

    firebird On Time Out

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    Because it's heavily marketed to practically everyone even though it's marginally effective and indicated for only a relatively small percentage of the population who are more likely to die from flu if they contract it. And even then, the CDC reports that the shot isn't really very effective in the elderly -- who make up the VAST proportion of the 79,400 who died from the flu -- 86% per the table linked.

    Anywho, I'm pretty sure no one's consulting the Websleuths public polls forum to determine whether they should get a flu shot -- so I'm not super concerned about expressing my "dangerous" (in your opinion) opinion
     
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  10. Laughing

    Laughing Rarely Speechless

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    After my child was born, a "friend of the family" sent me a subscription to a mothering magazine that was anti-vax, continuously citing that it was horrible to use a painful needle to put any outside substance in anyone's body.

    Yet each & every baby girl pictured in each & every issue I received had pierced ears!

    Um, what was that about the painful needle & the outside substance???

    JMHO YMMV, while I wait impatiently for my provider's office or the Health Department to receive this year's influenza vaccine.
     
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  11. Kaley Smith

    Kaley Smith Well-Known Member

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    I think it's mainly young people who are anti-vax. They were obviously not around when polio was crippling and killing people in the 1940s and 1950s. They may not have relatives who died a horrible death before the time of vaccinations, as my Mom's sister did when she was 4 due to diphtheria. I think more education is needed on this topic!
     
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  12. Curious Me

    Curious Me Long-Time Member from back in the day

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    I do believe the flu shots work. I've gotten one faithfully for seven years or more in a row with just mild reactions.

    I got my flu shot a week ago this year. I now have HIVES. Apparently, this happens to quite a few people and some say they have hives for months after. No, please! I just took two Benadryl.

    Has this happened to any of you?
     
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  13. Laughing

    Laughing Rarely Speechless

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    Nope, sorry you're itchy! Still need to get mine.
     
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  14. Curious Me

    Curious Me Long-Time Member from back in the day

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    I hope you're not laughing at me. :)

    The Benadryl helped, I think. Makes me drowsy though. No new hives, but the ones I had are still very red. Better than getting the flu? We'll see.
     
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  15. BetteDavisEyes

    BetteDavisEyes All the boys think she's a spy...

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    I mentioned my itchy rash/hives reaction to a flu shot in post #27 of this thread. My current PCP insists on flu shot for older patients, especially those with serious health issues. I have asthma, so she expects me to get flue shot annually. In the past six years, I haven't had any negative reaction to the flu injection. I also finished my two rounds of Prevnar (pneumonia shot) last December. My annual physical is later this month at which time I'll get this year's flu shot.

    I had an extreme reaction to a sulfa medication that I was taking for a UTI. The hives got so bad that I had DH take me to the ER. I was put on a Benadryl/Valium drip for about an hour. Benedryl eased the itching, rash went away, and the Valium kept me from dancing on the ceiling :D No more sulfa drugs for me!
     
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  16. BetteDavisEyes

    BetteDavisEyes All the boys think she's a spy...

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    Flu season is here and now is the time to get flu shot

    Flu-related deaths already reported

    (CNN) - The aches, the sneezing, the sore throat, the exhaustion -- flu season is here, and you want to be prepared.

    Typically, the "season" starts in October, but there has already been flu-related deaths reported. Physicians say it's not too early to get a flu shot, and they are available at many pharmacies and doctor's offices around the country...
     
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  17. Curious Me

    Curious Me Long-Time Member from back in the day

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    Yes, I definitely have to get a flu shot.

    Good news, the hives went away after a few days on Benadryl. They were mainly on my legs, not at the site of injection.

    I've already had the pneumonia shots and the newer shingles shots to avoid serious illnesses. Had a mammogram yesterday. I'm trying to stay healthy. Please take care everyone.
     
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  18. lymom3

    lymom3 Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if the flu shot really helps or not but since I had cancer my dr's have insisted that I have it every year. I haven't gotten the flu and it's been 6 years so that's something...
     
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  19. chesire78

    chesire78 Member

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    How would any of us know if it worked? The number of people who die from the flu are never looked at in terms of how many were vaccinated and how many were not, because they will not release that info. We used to think it was good to get the flu / get over it that maybe that strain ,a part of the strain, or similar one ,might return some years later and you would have some immunity to it. We have since reversed that thinking but I would still like to see the numbers in direct context with vaccinations and flu deaths. I do think the problem is some of the questions are not really pro or anti vax but just questions about hidden data
     
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  20. TristanP

    TristanP Well-Known Member

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    If you got the shot a week ago and only just now have developed hives, there’s a good chance it’s not the flu shot that is causing the hives.
     
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