Flu shot? shingles

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by saddletramp, Dec 15, 2017.

  1. neilw2

    neilw2 Line Up and Wait

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    Just cruising this thread a thought occurred to me... It always amazes me how people who have no real working knowledge of something can act as an authority and have such strong opinions....Maybe a pilot forum isn't the best place to get info on vaccines.

    Like some others have said the best place to ask these questions is in your MD's office or at the pharmacy. Health care's main model of care has changed a lot lately. They try to encourage more of a team approach to patient's decision making- with the patient being the center of that decision team. It's called patient centered medical care.

    A good provider should (and will) be able to show you hard medical facts based on studies or statistics that show the actual value/risk benefit for any medicine or procedure.

    I will boil down some of the simple truths about the Flu/Flu shots:
    -You cannot get the Flu from the flu vaccines
    -Like others have said, they use statistics and trends to "guess" what exact strains are in the vaccine based on what they think will be around year to year. Even if they strike out and it's not as effective as it could have been it is much more effective than nothing
    -Influenza kills about 5,000 people a year. True, mostly old or young. But you can certainly transmit
    -Flu, even though it probably wont kill you if your in relatively good health, is not fun and causes you to waist a lot of time being sick
    -The flu shot is really, really safe and their are minimal side effects

    I could do similar fact stating for the shingles vaccines but you probably get my point. Talk to your MD or pharmacist. That's why they are there and what they get paid to do. If they seem not to take your questions seriously or don't answer satisfactory then it's time to find a new MD or pharmacy.
     
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  2. Rushie

    Rushie Pattern Altitude

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    Of course the flu can kill. We all know about the pandemic of 1918. That was a century ago and it hasn't recurred but it could at any time. But the odds of it occurring any one year are pretty low. Then there is the odds your scientists will guess which of the ever changing strains will be the big one. It's far from guaranteed your flu vac would even do anything against the big one if it comes. But consider this, every year close to an equal number of people dies in the U.S. from cancer as died in the U.S. during the once in a century flu pandemic. Which are you more worried about?

    The 1918 flu was an anomaly in more ways than one. Unlike normal flu it tended to kill young, healthy adults. So if our vaccination program focuses on protecting the elderly, we might be targeting the wrong population anyway if another monster flu is what we fear.

    If normal flu is what we fear, look at the actual protection you are getting. It depends on whether the flu going around your particular community is the strain they used for the vaccine. Here is some factual information about its effectiveness:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/09/why-flu-vaccines-so-often-fail

    But here is the glaring piece all of you are ignoring: Oppotunity Lost. When we spend millions on a program with mediocre at best effectiveness, that money is not being used for something that would give us much better benefit.

    Some of you keep saying the shot is free or almost. You know better than that. The cost is going into your high insurance premiums for one thing.

    I'm not an anti-vac nut. But I pick my vaccines with care. I don't appreciate public policy transferring money from my pockets to big pharma or corrupt government officials, based on mediocre results, INSTEAD of letting me keep that money to maybe buy healthier food to avoid diabetes for example (a much bigger threat to me than the flu) or at the very least if you want to push public agenda, taking that money to spend on a more beneficial policy like finding a cure for cancer - again, a much bigger threat to me than the flu. Look at the bigger picture, people.
     
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  3. Norman

    Norman En-Route Gone West

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    I got my flu shot in early November and haven't felt good since. Never had that happen before.
     
  4. Rushie

    Rushie Pattern Altitude

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    It can. Or it can cause permanent pain or parathesia along the affected nerve branch. The vaccine supposedly reduces the chance of that.
     
  5. 1600vw

    1600vw Pattern Altitude

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    I had shingles at age 43. I never want that again. 14 years later I still have numbness in the area I had this. But I had a really bad case.
     
  6. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Most grocery stores with pharmacy offer the flu shot along with many others.
     
  7. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    All else being equal, being vaccinated against the flu decreases your likelihood of dying from it by 52-79%. Your risk of ending up in the ICU is reduced by 37%. So even if you 'failed' the flu vaccine (in the sense of having contracted an influenza like illness despite being vaccinated), there is still a beneficial effect to be had.

    Clin Infect Dis. 2017 Oct 15;65(8):1289-1297
     
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  8. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Some insurance plans don't pay for the flu shot if it is provided as a pharmacy service rather than a medical service. So if you get the shot at the grocery store, make sure they run a pre-approval before you get the shot.
    In our county the health department offers free flu shots. You just have to make the time to go there.
     
  9. Anymouse

    Anymouse En-Route

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    I don't like getting the flu vaccination because I get autistic and start acting like Rainman for a week or so after the shot. It doesn't really bother me, but my passengers start freaking out when I have a conniption fit because Judge Wapner isn't showing anymore.
     
  10. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    People tend to believe that which confirms their already preconceived idea and reject facts and opinions that don't conform to their mindset. Its documented phenomenon that underlies much of the anti-science seen in our society.
     
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  11. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Almost as bad: my mom had shingles on her butt and privates. It was in her last year and I believe the experience hastened her decline. I haven't had a shot for it yet as it isn't covered on my insurance, but plan to get it once the new vaccine is available.

    The flu shot, on the other hand, I get every year. Even if it's less than 100% effective, it's free on my insurance (one of the few things that is) and there is absolutely no downside. Someone mentioned Guillain-Barre but that is an extremely rare complication.
     
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  12. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Resurrecting this thread from last year because one of the staff in my college was recently rushed to the hospital with Type A influenza. The latest update says he is in critical condition, in a medically induced coma, and on a ventilator. He is in his 60s...

    This sort of thing is why I get the flu shot every year.
     
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  13. wilkersk

    wilkersk Cleared for Takeoff

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    I got the first Shingrex shot in August. The pharmacy that gave it has been out of it every time I've been in for the 2nd. I'll probably have to repeat the first one now. But, not at the same place.

    The flu shot is a no-brainer. They're not fool-proof. But, they offer just enough odds of actually preventing the flu that its worth it for most people. I think almost everyone can get it for no out-of-pocket. If its not covered by your health plan, check with the county health department to see if they're offering free flu shots.
     
  14. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I declined the flu shot this year (kind of a whim actually) and contracted Type A flu on the 17th of December. By the 18th I had bronchitis and a little walking pneumonia. And was prescribed the generic of Tamiflu. I was down hard for about 3 days (as in walk to the couch, sit and sort of watch TV, walk to bed). I'm still coughing a bit.

    Next year, flu shot.
     
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  15. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller En-Route

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    Most people, when they get a bad cold this time of year, self diagnose: "I have the Flu." They don't know how bad the Flu can be. I was really sick (but not hospitalized) once by the Flu. Every year thereafter I make sure to get the flu shot. Having the Flu is certified misery....
     
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  16. Mooney Fan

    Mooney Fan Line Up and Wait

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    My niece took the flu shot. She missed work today laid up in the bed with the flu
     
  17. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    It’s not 100% effective. Nobody said it was. Actual effectiveness varies year to year.

    The vaccine just statistically lowers your chance of getting the flu, and anecdotes don’t tell us anything.
     
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  18. Mooney Fan

    Mooney Fan Line Up and Wait

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    Which is why I have never taken it... Don't plan to either
     
  19. wrbix

    wrbix Pattern Altitude

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    Huh?....can’t (and frankly don’t care to) follow your logic.
     
  20. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    It’s called “Pretzel Logic”.
     
  21. saddletramp

    saddletramp Line Up and Wait

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    OP here. I forgot all about this thread I started over a year ago. I never did get the shingles shot but...

    I went in for my annual physical last Friday. My doctor wasn't happy when I told him that I never followed through with the shingles shot.

    Needless to say, I left his office with a flu shot injection in one arm & a Shingrex shot in the other. He showed me who's boss!

    I have to get the second shingle shot in three to six months. I'm sure it was the right thing to do.
     
  22. Mooney Fan

    Mooney Fan Line Up and Wait

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    Otherwise known as freedom of choice. I’ll pass on being injected with a vaccine that has an 83% chance of having zero impact whether I get the flu or not. And since I don’t, I’ll pass :cool:
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  23. Mooney Fan

    Mooney Fan Line Up and Wait

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    Plenty of ‘may’.....’could’ references
    http://time.com/5138100/how-effective-is-the-2018-flu-shot/
     
  24. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Do you pass on wearing seatbelts too? I mean, the chances are smaller than one in a thousand that they will be of benefit to you on any given trip.

    The idea of vaccines is to reduce the risk. Same with seatbelts.
     
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  25. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    I don’t recall anyone here suggesting that flu vaccinations be required, except in certain cases.

    You are certainly free not to get vaccinated. And you’re not alone.

    But, regardless of any year’s vaccination effectiveness, there will be a subset of people who get the flu and suffer, are hospitalized, and/or die who would not have contracted the flu had they been vaccinated. With so little downside to the vaccination, getting vaccinated would seem the rational choice.

    But the choice is yours.
     
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  26. Mooney Fan

    Mooney Fan Line Up and Wait

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    Non sequitur. Use of seatbelts is the law.
     
  27. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    Seriously?

    Do you not know what an analogy is?

    Might as well say vaccines don’t have wheels!
     
  28. Witmo

    Witmo Pattern Altitude

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    The wrong way to look at a flu shot, in my opinion, is to believe that it has to keep you from getting the flu, or it's worthless. The way I understand it, the flu shot will decrease the severity of any strain as well as protect you from certain strains. If you get the current flu shot and still come down with the flu, you will experience milder symptoms and enjoy a swifter recovery than someone who didn't get the shot and comes down with the flu. Get the flu shot...or not, it's your choice.
     
  29. wrbix

    wrbix Pattern Altitude

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    ...

    .......and a subset of people who may not have gotten influenza and it’s possible morbidity/mortality had they not been exposed to someone who was spreading influenza, not having been vaccinated. Herd immunity works.
    Think of the children.
     
  30. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Yes. In a sense, think of vaccines as analogous to the control rods in a nuclear reactor. Vaccinated people slow the transmission rate through the population, so instead of getting a runaway epidemic, you get a slower spread and (ultimately) less of the population becomes infected.
     
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  31. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route

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    Both.

    Bob
     
  32. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Nice analogy! :thumbsup:

    Unfortunately Bob is now in a life/death struggle due to having contracted influenza (not what most people call "the flu", but real Type A influenza) and developed pneumonia as a complication. Last I heard, his condition has worsened and they were (Friday) considering transferring him to a larger medical center as the largest university hospital in VT can't give him optimal care.

    Herd immunity might just have protected him. But this is VT, where lots of people believe wacky theories about vaccines (and chemtrails, and other fringe notions). I haven't asked (and wouldn't, of course) whether he himself got the shot this year, but I've never heard of anyone getting deathly ill despite being vaccinated except in years when the vaccine was a total miss. I'm pretty sure that's not the case this year.
     
  33. JScarry

    JScarry Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The conservative US writer and commentator Bre Payton has died at the age of 26 after falling ill.
    A friend, Morgan Murtaugh, found her unconscious on Thursday. She died in hospital where she was found to be suffering from H1N1 flu and meningitis.
     
  34. jsmith725

    jsmith725 Filing Flight Plan

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    Do NOT mess around with shingles. I had chemo and bone marrow transplant to treat leukemia, which wiped out my immune system. Before my system had recovered sufficiently to receive the shingles vaccine, I developed a shingles infection in a facial nerve. Facial paralysis (which eventually cleared), balance issues (just now getting better three years after the fact), and loss of hearing on one side (will never get that back). It's a rare location to get shingles, but it happens (Google "Ramsay Hunt Syndrome" if interested).