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

    383 vote(s)
    56.3%
  2. No, I don't think they work

    137 vote(s)
    20.1%
  3. No, they are not safe

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

    21 vote(s)
    3.1%
  5. Other: please explain

    52 vote(s)
    7.6%
  1. Curious Me

    Curious Me Long-Time Member from back in the day

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    I didn't expect to have to convince everyone here that I did have a milder Hives reaction to my flu shot this year. They went away fairly quickly. I reported it to several of my doctors, and none of those doctors doubted it. The medical profession is aware that some people have reactions. I get a flu shot every year.
     
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  2. Curious Me

    Curious Me Long-Time Member from back in the day

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    Bumping for those who might need to get their flu shot early in the season.

    Flu Shot Seekers ‘Chase After’ Senior Dose During Shortage

    GLENDALE, Colo. (CBS4) –
    "Health departments report a distribution issue and a delay in the production and supply of the senior dose of the flu shot this week as experts say the public should receive the vaccine by the end of October."

    Flu Shot Seekers ‘Chase After’ Senior Dose During Shortage
     
  3. Lilibet

    Lilibet Watching and Waiting

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    Speaking of the “senior dose,” my husband and I got our flu shots last week at our local pharmacy where we always get it. Three times I checked to make sure we were getting the “high dose” vaccine for seniors: when I called, when we checked in and when the pharmacist approached us, syringes in hand. All three times I was told “yes.” When I got home and looked at the paperwork they gave us as we left, I discovered our shot was a quadrivalent, not the high dose trivalent for seniors. Needless to say, they got a phone call from me asking them why they had not told us that we weren’t getting the high dose. After denying that they had lied, they finally admitted under questioning that they don’t have the high dose vaccine for seniors. Had we known, we would have “chased after” it elsewhere. We’ve done that before. The more I think about it, the angrier I get. A letter to Bimart corporate headquarters here in Oregon is in the works.
     
  4. chesire78

    chesire78 Member

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    which study are you citing ? I do know there a lot % numbers being thrown out in articles ,I have never seen a solid US study or any US study for that matter. Heard immunity can not be studied due to ethics codes okay but comparisons on flu deaths ,vax vs not vax , could be charted. From my understanding the companies who hold the contracts do have a clause preventing this from ever happening which is not the case for all of our vaccines. I would love to see the studies or comparisons. Canada did do a study with elderly vs influenza which is where i think your stat came from but that's about all I have seen.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
  5. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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    That’s not where my stats came from. I linked to the study earlier. Efficacy rates come from multiple studies of multiple studies. Like the one I linked to above. Do you believe none of the people in the efficacy studies died from the flu? Do you believe the researchers carefully omitted anyone from the studies who died from the flu? And why would a study in Denmark let’s say have zero application here using the same type of vaccine? That doesn’t make sense.

    Also, why would 90% of the world’s doctors who believe in vaccines believe in them based on studies that somehow omit patients who died from the flu?

    And of course it’s ethical to study this. Because so many people do not get the vaccine it’s quite easy to compare without putting people in harms’ way with random clinical trials. There’s plenty of data without doing that because people are so confused and so willing to disbelieve the medical establishment.

    Additionally, I believe herd immunity can be studied without random clinical trials because data about rates of vaccination versus hospitalization rates of people for the flu in an area are easily accessed.

    From the study I cited before:

    “We screened 5707 articles and identified 31 eligible studies (17 randomised controlled trials and 14 observational studies). Efficacy of TIV was shown in eight (67%) of the 12 seasons analysed in ten randomised controlled trials (pooled efficacy 59% [95% CI 51–67] in adults aged 18–65 years). No such trials met inclusion criteria for children aged 2–17 years or adults aged 65 years or older. Efficacy of LAIV was shown in nine (75%) of the 12 seasons analysed in ten randomised controlled trials (pooled efficacy 83% [69–91]) in children aged 6 months to 7 years. No such trials met inclusion criteria for children aged 8–17 years. Vaccine effectiveness was variable for seasonal influenza: six (35%) of 17 analyses in nine studies showed significant protection against medically attended influenza in the outpatient or inpatient setting. Median monovalent pandemic H1N1 vaccine effectiveness in five observational studies was 69% (range 60–93).”

    So 12 seasons of flu shots were examined. 31 studies in that one.
    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(11)70295-X/fulltext

    Here’s more:

    RESULTS: There were more than 25,000 seniors in each of the three study cohorts. Influenza vaccination rates ranged from 45 to 58%, and vaccinated subjects at baseline appeared to be 'sicker' than nonvaccinated subjects. Influenza vaccination was associated with significant reductions in all outcomes evaluated including outpatient visits (17% reduction in pneumonia and influenza visits, 6.4% reduction in all respiratory condition visits), hospitalizations (51.2% reduction in pneumonia and influenza hospitalizations, 32.5% reduction in all respiratory condition hospitalizations, 28.6% reduction in congestive heart failure hospitalizations), hospitalization costs (30.7% reduction in hospitalization costs for all respiratory conditions and congestive heart failure combined), and deaths from all causes (45% reduction in death from all causes).

    Effectiveness of influenza vaccine in the elderly. - PubMed - NCBI

    This one is a key US study:

    METHODS: We conducted a case–cohort analysis comparing vaccination uptake among laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated pediatric deaths with estimated vaccination coverage among pediatric cohorts in the United States. Case vaccination and high-risk status were determined by case investigation. Influenza vaccination coverage estimates were obtained from national survey data or a national insurance claims database. We estimated odds ratios from logistic regression comparing odds of vaccination among cases with odds of vaccination in comparison cohorts. We used Bayesian methods to compute 95% credible intervals (CIs) for vaccine effectiveness (VE), calculated as (1 − odds ratio) × 100.

    RESULTS: From July 2010 through June 2014, 358 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported among children aged 6 months through 17 years. Vaccination status was determined for 291 deaths; 75 (26%) received vaccine before illness onset. Average vaccination coverage in survey cohorts was 48%. Overall VE against death was 65% (95% CI, 54% to 74%). Among 153 deaths in children with underlying high-risk medical conditions, 47 (31%) were vaccinated. VE among children with high-risk conditions was 51% (95% CI, 31% to 67%), compared with 65% (95% CI, 47% to 78%) among children without high-risk conditions.

    CONCLUSIONS: Influenza vaccination was associated with reduced risk of laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated pediatric death. Increasing influenza vaccination could prevent influenza-associated deaths among children and adolescents.
    Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Against Pediatric Deaths: 2010–2014
    Pooled analysis of confounder-adjusted hazard ratio showed that influenza vaccination was associated with reduced risk for mortality during influenza season (risk ratio [95% CI] = 0.52 [0.39-0.69]) and during non-influenza season (0.79 [0.69-0.90]). Influenza vaccination was associated with lower risk for cardiovascular hospitalization (risk ratio [95% CI] = 0.78 [0.68-0.89]) but not for all-cause hospitalization (1.00 [0.90-1.11]) during influenza season.
    THE EFFECT OF INFLUENZA VACCINATION ON MORTALITY AND HOSPITALIZATION IN PATIENTS WITH HEART FAILURE: A META-ANALYSIS

    You know I’ve researched this topic extensively because some of the anti-vaxxer arguments were compelling to me. The anecdotal evidence sure was. And I don’t tend to make bold claims without being able to back them up.

    To each his own. But I’m wearing my seatbelt.
     
  6. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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    Lots of people get mild reactions. Not a week later though. That’s pretty impossible.

    Hives is considered a severe allergic reaction to the shot and appears very quickly:

    Severe allergic reactions
    Rarely, the flu vaccine can cause a severe allergic reaction. Severe allergic reactions usually happen within a few hours of receiving the vaccine. Symptoms include:
    • hives
    • swelling
    • trouble breathing
    • fast heart rate
    • dizziness
    • weakness
    If you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor right away. If they’re severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
    What Are the Side Effects of a Flu Shot?

    The thing is people experience issues they might otherwise experience regardless as to whether they received a vaccine. And yet they often relate the issue to the vaccine despite lack of any causal evidence except timing.

    The problem with that IMO is this unscientific evidence persuaded people on the fence not to get vaccines - something that affects us all. Hearing so much anecdote certainly made me think twice.

    If you called your doctor or sent them a message that you got hives after the vaccine I believe they’re going to give you back generic care information. But if you specifically talk to the doctor in person and told them that you got hives a week later I’m betting they would say it’s unlikely to be from the vaccine.
     
  7. Curious Me

    Curious Me Long-Time Member from back in the day

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    It's October 2019. News reports are reporting the flu is already causing deaths. I may have had a mild reaction to the shot, but I'm still urging people to get their flu shot.

    Flu season is upon us. Here's what you need to know to protect yourself.
    "A death so early in the flu season suggests this year may be worse than usual," Kaiser warned.

    People die from the Flu. It really happens . Australia had so many flu cases reported early 2019. Informative video here.
    Flu death tally at 228, and rising
     
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  8. firebird

    firebird Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. Most of the fatalities at the links are very young or very old and/or health compromised (as expected), but the one healthy 40-something who died had gotten the vaccine. Go figure. I'll skip it again :)

    "One of the victims, a 43-year-old from Gippsland, died on Sunday after battling the virus for a week.

    James Day was an otherwise healthy hospital worker but the flu “hit him and his body quite hard”, according to a ******** fundraising website for his wife Jennifer and son Jackson.

    Victoria’s acting chief health officer Angie Bone said Mr Day’s death was a harsh reminder even healthy, vaccinated people can succumb to the flu."
     
  9. Lilibet

    Lilibet Watching and Waiting

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    How sad! Of course the vaccine does not cover every strain of flu or mutation. Mr Day was a hospital orderly on the germ “front lines,” and we don’t know how recently he had been vaccinated, but IMO it’s still better than nothing. And it’s important to take other precautions, as this article points out..

    “It really highlights the importance of all of us taking basic protective measures,” Dr Bone told reporters.

    “These are things like ensuring that you had your flu vaccination for this season, washing your hands, using cough hygiene, coughing into your elbow and not spreading droplets that might be infected and if you are unwell staying at home and seeking medical attention.”

    Dr Bone said the flu virus could live on a surface for 48 hours.

    43-year-old father and hospital worker dies of influenza despite being vaccinated
     
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  10. Red Beauty1

    Red Beauty1 New Member

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    Yes last year I had taken the flu shot and ended up with Pneumonia!
     
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  11. Lilibet

    Lilibet Watching and Waiting

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    I’m very sorry you got pneumonia, which can be very serious and fatal for some, but a flu shot does not cause or prevent pneumonia. There is a separate vaccine for pneumonia, although like any vaccine, it is not a guaranteed prevention.

    Pneumococcal Disease | Vaccines - PCV13 and PPSV23 | CDC
     
  12. BetteDavisEyes

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

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    I had my annual physical yesterday and got a flu shot. The office was packed with many people there to get flu and/or pneumonia vaccine. Dr. K told me that they have been running out of various vaccines since early September. While the shortage likely inconveniences patients who come in for a shot only to find out that it's not available on that particular day, it's good to know that so many folks take their health seriously.
     
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  13. Podengo

    Podengo Well-Known Member

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    I personally have never had the flu or the flu vaccine. I don’t really question it’s safety but I honestly feel like I am less dangerous to immunochallenged people just keeping my immune system intact. I work in veterinary medicine and several years ago we dropped to vaccinating core vaccines every three years instead of every year. Studies showed that yearly vaccines were not only unnecessary but possibly harmful. We also NEVER vaccinate a pregnant animal in veterinary medicine. This new push on pregnant women to get flu shots is scary to me.
    I am not anti-vaccine, but I’m also not for jumping on every vaccine bandwagon out there.
    I voted that I don’t think the flu shot works. I feel that way because as a 49 year old woman I have only seen the flu get more prevalent over the last ten years, at least in the media.
    I heard a news story the other day about thousands of deaths caused by a hormone blocker for trans kids, or at least that’s how the story read. A little research and you learn that the drug is mainly used by kids with certain cancers and those are the kids that passed from the drug. Medical data can be interpreted many ways to look however you want it to, so it’s hard to trust in what is presented.
    The US is doing something wrong to have such high childhood cancer and death rates compared to other countries (unless that data is manipulated as well...).
     
  14. firebird

    firebird Well-Known Member

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    People who don't get the flu shot also take their health seriously. Imo, everyone does unless they have some mental health issue that makes them want to be ill.
     
  15. mickey2942

    mickey2942 Well-Known Member

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    Measles infection causes ‘immune amnesia,’ leaving kids vulnerable to other illnesses

    This is interesting. The children in this study who were not vaccinated and caught measles were vulnerable to other illnesses.

    A few pages back, I posted about this flu I caught about 20 years ago, I was sick for months. It was like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome flu or something. I just functioned, in a fog. I couldn't exercise, just washing clothes was an all day long task. I wonder if that is sort of the same thing? My body was so ravaged by the flu, that I kept catching other diseases.
     
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  16. ZaZara

    ZaZara Well-Known Member

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    Sort of the same thing describes it well IMHO. I think in a milder form this is very common. Lots of people remain tired for a while after the flu' or a heavy cold.

    Another possible cause could be a combination with Pfeiffer's disease (Epstein-Barr virus). Or even Pfeiffer itself, the symptoms are very similar to those of the flu. When I was a student, lots co-students fell ill with Pfeiffer and its main characteristic was fatigue. No one gets Pfeiffer these days, I noticed with surprise, but then I looked it up and Pfeiffer affects mainly young people up to 25 years of age. Once you move out of that age bracket, there are other diseases awaiting you. :eek:

    From the article:

    BBM

    But in places where vaccines have virtually eliminated outbreaks, public health officials have documented unexpectedly large reductions in childhood deaths from other diseases....

    Let that sink in.
     
  17. squareandrabbet

    squareandrabbet Well-Known Member

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    Oh, it's sunk in. ;) In the 90s I saw my mother once go through a heinous bout of the Asian flu. She's type 1 diabetic also, so it was touch-and-go there for a while, in my mind at least, whether or not she would live... she legitimately had to crawl to get to the bathroom.

    As a result, after witnessing that I get my flu shot religiously as soon as the season opens; because the last thing I want as someone who lives alone, is to be feeling so badly I have to crawl to the bathroom.

    Also, after 20 years of public education I'm a little puzzled and alarmed we still see people quoting "I've heard that you can get the flu from a flu shot!", and in some cases I was explaining to these people annually that this was not, in fact, true.

    If the person's standard is, that "feeling less than 100% is never an acceptable status"; then yes, the flu shot might cause a reaction that in turn makes you think you have "gotten the flu" (you haven't. You have had a mild reaction to the dead flu virus cells which have been injected into your system).

    This may, in turn, fix things so that further down the road/season, you skip the case of flu that felled your cousin, or have a milder case of the flu than you would normally have had crawling around on your hands and knees.

    You are, of course, instead free to think that it is a conspiracy cooked up by the medical community and Big Pharma to sell thousands of dollars of needless vaccinations; but as I always say, "you can't prove a negative", by which I mean, "you don't know what would have happened if you had in fact not gotten the flu shot". I mean, pregnant women shouldn't get the flu for their own healthy good, either, and yet they do; so for me the argument about vaccine for pregnant women has pretty high flaws.
     
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  18. Laughing

    Laughing Rarely Speechless

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    RSBM

    If you develop influenza shortly after receiving your immunization -- it means someone touched you or coughed on you about two weeks beforehand!

    Some of my work involves a county Health Department. I was there when this year's vaccine arrived & the very wonderful nurses laughed since I had my sleeve rolled up already.

    Get your immunizations!
     
  19. ZaZara

    ZaZara Well-Known Member

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    Well, it was the time of the year to get the flu shot, but I had a flu-like cold already. We get a notice about the flu shot, they plan two days when you can come in the afternoon, and all doctors and assistants are there and the only thing they do is collect these notices and stick needles in arms. Pinch! Done!

    I've been on the list for a free shot since the flu hit my lungs some years ago. I was pumping air without getting much into my lungs and I could no longer walk upright when I came into the doctor's office. He prescribed one of those disks and when all was over he urged me to continue using it because 'your lungs have been affected and it is best to protect them because next time will be worse.' I like to say I inhale white powder twice a day :p

    This year I was (am) miserable. So I mailed the doctor to ask what to do and guess what? I'll have to wait until the symptoms pass and only then I will get vaccinated. I guess this makes sense.

    It is a strange virus that is going around here. I was sick and ice, ice cold during one night. Almost frozen. I have never been so cold in my entire life. The next day I hardly ate and mostly slept and since then I have no ailments whatsoever as long as I do not attempt anything. Unfortunately, lots of things cannot wait. It isn't lethal, but this has been going on for over 2 weeks and it is very inconvenient.
     
  20. squareandrabbet

    squareandrabbet Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that's very inconvenient, sorry for your frustration. It is a common complaint to me, as part of the reason that I am showing up at CVS etc. the instant I see the flu shot sign outside their location; is because I'm generally anxious to get it done before the temperature falls and I have to play "Hey, is this difficulty breathing, the result of a reaction to the dust mites in the HVAC system; or am I working on a cold/virus/some other reason why I should not be getting a flu shot?"
     
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