Thursday, October 8, 2009

To Flu or Not to Flu

With all the media coverage about the seasonal flu and the H1N1 (Swine) flu, I find myself twixt and tween about getting a flu shot. Is this year's strain of flu and the H1N1 (Swine) something to be worried about or is it just a Chicken Little media campaign pushed along by the drug companies?

Normally, I don't bother getting a flu shot. Himself got a flu shot one year. And he got the flu. I caught the flu from him and was down and out for three weeks. Neither of us have gotten a flu shot since then, and neither of us has gotten the flu. Knock wood.

And then how much immunity does the flu shot provide? The flu shot is only good against one strain of flu. If the researchers pick the wrong strain or the strain mutates, the flu shot is ineffective. The seasonal flu shot will not provide immunity against the H1N1 (Swine) flu.

Recently on a media campaign, I heard the seasonal flu shot was 70% effective in providing immunity. There's still a chance of contracting the flu and supposedly because of the shot, the severity of the disease will be lessened. So you'll feel crummy for a few days less, but you'll still feel crummy. 70% effective. That's a "C" average. I'm not sure that's good enough. Whatever happened to 100%?

And then if the seasonal flu isn't bad enough, this H1N1 (Swine) flu seems to be a super bug. At least according to the media reports. The new vaccine for this strain should be released sometime in the next week or two. But how much research and testing was done on this vaccine? And will there be a shortage of vaccine: seasonal flu or H1N1 (Swine) flu?

Chime in with your thoughts. Take the poll. I'd be curious to see what others think.


  1. Got mine already... I get it every year. I've never had the flu, never had a reaction, and knock wood, never will, and considering the germ filled environment I work in... That's a good thing. (I do get colds!) (Even colds I've had less since getting it!) However, there's also something to getting it yearly I've read. I would agree that just getting it once is probably useless?

    Nothing is perfect. What is MORE ticking me off this year? Doctors who are giving antibiotics / antivirals when someone IS sick with H1N1! The strain going around now IS managable! Treating it is only GOING TO CREATE THE SUPERBUG and then knowing my luck I WILL get it!

    I don't know if I will get the H1N1 vaccine. I do believe it's more important for kids, based on all I've read. If my doc gives it to me in 2 weeks because of my diabetes, then I'll take it, but I don't think she will. I dunno. I think there's little enough.

    However, I do get my yearly flu and I even already got my Pnem. vaccine as well! What can I say, I have a doc who loves me! (not the drug company.)

  2. Jury's still out on whether we'll get the flu shot around here.

  3. In BC, they are telling us that if you get the regular flu shot, you have a better chance of getting
    H1N1 so they are delaying giving the regular flu shots to any age groups other than the elderly I believe. I have only ever had one flu shot and that was the year my dad was in hospital for 3 months and I visited him everyday. I am undecided about both the regular and the Dread Pig.
    Bev (not signed in on my laptop and don't remember my sign in stuff!!)

  4. Here's a link to an article about B.C delaying the seasonal flu shot.Thanks for the info, Bev.

  5. I've been thinking... Additional clarification is needed on your poll. There are TWO vaccines in cirulation. The regular flu and the H1N1. The question is ambiguous, as for example I alluded to, I always get my flu shot, but don't plan on getting the H1N1...

    For me, I do trust the center's for disease control and world health organization. I also know that the guy who runs our county health is freakin' BRILLIANT and what ever he says, I do. He's never steered us wrong.

    It's about SMART prevention, not obsessive, but SMART! wash hands, cough and sneeze correctly, etc.

  6. BTW... How many of us are really on the priority list for getting the H1N1 vaccine?

    nitial Target Groups Are:
    When vaccine is first available, ACIP recommends that programs and providers administer vaccine to people in the following five target groups (order of target groups does not indicate priority):

    * pregnant women,
    * people who live with or provide care for infants younger than 6 months (e.g., parents, siblings, and day care providers),
    * health care and emergency medical services personnel,
    * people 6 months through 24 years of age, and,
    * people 25 years through 64 years of age who have certain medical conditions that put them at higher risk for influenza-related complications.

    And CJ, since you had a reaction to the vaccine before, you aren't encouraged to get it again. You display a sensitivity to it. I was reading that on the CDC website.

  7. I'm torn too! No one in our family is on the priority list for the swiney, but if it becomes widely available I don't know what we'll do. Didn't know that about being more susceptible to H1N1 if we have the seasonal. UGH. 3/5 of our family already got the seasonal.