Flu Shot – It’s Not Too Late

Flu Shot – It’s Not Too Late

I’ve talked with so many people the last few weeks that didn’t heed the warnings about what’s turning out to be a horrendous flu season.  It’s not too late, get your flu shot.  Here’s the information on the flu shot that we first brought you in October…

It’s time for that once a year health prep again…I mean the seasonal flu shot.  The Army Reserve orders me to ‘take my medicine’ (yes, it’s a lawful order) every year…but I’d get one anyway. In fact, I believe that the flu shot is so important that I pay for all my employees to get their flu shots as well.  Many health insurance programs pay for the entire vaccine…but even if you have to pay for it yourself…it’s a cheap prep at about $25.  You don’t even have to go to the doctor’s office to get it anymore…you can find a vaccination site near you by searching at www.flu.gov.

Centers for Disease Control LogoThe shot (or nasal spray) includes the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) three best guesses of the strains that your body will need help fighting off this year.  Here are some additional flu facts from the CDC:

  • The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine each year
  • Getting the flu vaccine is the first and most important step in flu protection
  • It’s especially important to get vaccinated if you:
    • are at high risk of developing serious complications like pneumonia
    • have certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease
  • are pregnant
  • Are 65 years and older.
  • The CDC recommends that people get vaccinated as soon as possible because:
    • influenza is unpredictable and can begin as early as October
    • it takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection
  • You can get your flu vaccine at:
    • doctor’s offices
    • clinics
    • health departments
    • pharmacies (this is where I went to get mine…in and out in 10 minutes)
    • student health centers at colleges and universities
    • many employers offer vaccines at the job site
  • Flu vaccines are necessary every year because flu viruses constantly change.
  • Antiviral medications aren’t an alternative to the flu vaccination but can make the symptoms milder and prevent some flu related complications.  Read more at Treatment (Antiviral Drugs).

It’s Time for That Once a Year Health Prep…go get that flu shot and you’ll be prepared…not to get the flu!

  • This year’s (2012-2013) vaccine will help protect you from the following flu strains:
    • A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
    • A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2)-like virus;
    • B/Wisconsin/1/2010-like virus (from the B/Yamagata lineage of viruses).
  • The flu vaccine is a best guess from the CDC and it’s effectiveness does vary from year to year but even if you are exposed to a different strain the antibodies may protect you.  Read more at How Well Does the Seasonal Flu Vaccine Work?
  • The CDC recommends that you talk with your doctor before getting a the flu shot if you:
    • have ever had a severe allergic reaction to eggs
    • have ever had a serious reaction to a previous flu shot
    • have ever had Guillain-Barré Syndrome (a severe paralytic illness, also called GBS) that occurred after receiving influenza vaccine.
  • have a fever
  • The flu shot is an inactivated virus and can’t give you the flu
  • Possible side effect of the flu shot include:
    • Soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
    • Fever (low grade)
    • Aches
    • Toughness and itching where the shot was given
    • Allergic reactions are possible but rare
  • Talk with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist about possible side effects before getting the vaccine
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4 Responses to “Flu Shot – It’s Not Too Late”

  1. z1queenie says:

    With all due respect, I think you are mis-informed. The flu vaccines don’t work because every season, the flu mutates and changes into something different. If you do some simple Google searching, you will find that 2 years ago the CBC and WHO went into “Little Red Hen” mode. They went around crying the flu is coming, the flu is coming…Get ready for the body count to start mounting. they said that the H1N1 was going to be even worse than the Black Plague in 16th century England. What happened? The entire thing was a wash. People died from H1N1, but it was not anywhere near what the CDC was predicting. But many health care professionals and health care facilities bought into it hook, line, and sinker. Including the hosital where I work. I work from home, have no pateint contact of any kind whatsoever. My employer made the flu shots a “condition” of employment. Meaning no shot…no job. Plain and simple. They don’t care because they have hundreds of resumes for every position.

    I also did some Google searching and found out that Big Pharma acquired the patents on ALL the vaccines more than 6 months BEFORE the CDC and WHO started their rant. And the vaccines that need to be grown in eggs? There just happened to be an egg shortage too.

    With all this said, the only people with anything to gain from the vaccines are the manufacturers and the FDA. Just because you get a shot doesn’t mean you aren’t going to get the flu. Nobody knows what goes into those vaccines because the FDA has such sloppy record-keeping. There are a couple of overseas companies that are being sued for their part in the big flu dust-up. One is Sanofi and the other one I think is Novartis.

    Just make sure you do your homework and think long and hard whether to get one or not. Remember…just because you got the shot, doesn’t mean you are not going to get sick.

    • admin says:

      z1queenie,

      Thanks for your comment. I’m still sold on the vaccine. I’ve spent too many years as the only one in the house not catching the flu and my girls finally started taking the shot as well. The flu shot is a ‘condition of employment’ for me as well because the Army Reserve orders me to take it…I was skeptical at first as well…but I’m a big proponent now. As each of my girls took the shot they didn’t contract the flu anymore or, in one case contracted the flu but had much milder systems and rebounded in half the time. The following is from the CDC website:

      Findings from early data suggest that this season’s vaccine so far is reducing the risk of having to go to the doctor for influenza by about 60% for vaccinated people. The data are published in “Early Estimates of Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness — United States, January 2013,” in the January 11, 2013, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Read the .

  2. JRKey says:

    Mr. Jackson,

    I love your blog and am a daily reader. I find useful tips and resources and enjoy your spirited opinions and agree with most of them. However of this subject I respectfully disagree.

    The statistics do not show that anyone who gets a flu shot has a lesser chance of getting the flu. The CDC even says that the vaccines may not work depending on the strain of virus in each community. And because we are lead to believe a flu shout is necessary more and more Americans get more and more flu shots. What does it do?

    Causes the virus to change itself and replicate into a new form that the vaccine has no affect over. Mandating the shot only makes it worse. People get the flu shot and still get sick. People don’t get the shot and don’t get sick. I have never taken a flu shot, and strangely I have never had the flu.

    My final point is this: you don’t have any increased risk by not getting a flu shot. All the shot does is make more money for drug companies. Remember last year, the companies even came out and said the first batch was bad an not effective against that years strain. And if we continue to push our luck, one year we may end up with a strain that kills tens of thousands of people. All because we forced the virus to change into something that eventually learned to be smarted than us.

    • JRKey,

      Thanks for your comment.

      We are all a slave to our own experience. I’m one of those guys that used to get the flu every year or two until the military ordered me to take the shot every year…it turned me into such a believer that I pay for all my employees to take it. I’ve never had an employee take the shot and get sick (I know it can happen if the strains aren’t guessed right though) but have several who never get around to it or are opposed who do catch the flu some years.

      Maybe we should just let the flu run it’s course and perhaps we’re nudging it to change into something more dangerous… but my medical advisor recommends it, I’ve known folks who have died after contracting the flu, and read extensively about the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918…frankly the flu’s potential scares me to death.

      That said, the experts tell us that whatever we do…sooner or later another superbug like the 1918 flu (which targeted the young and healthy) will emerge.

      Thanks again for your take and keep on prepping,

      Andrew

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