I have never, ever had one and I think I've only had a real flu bug once or twice in my life but recovered fairly quickly without going to a doctor but I'm constantly worried about some super flu type thing like the ones you hear about killing hundreds of thousands of people every century or so. I've also heard some people can get the flu from them. What's the deal?
I had the flu once and was sick for 6 weeks. I missed a solid week of work, and for three days I could barely tell if it was day or night. I slept most of the time, crawled to the bathroom every once in a while and made my way to the kitchen. I've never been so sick in my life - and now know that every other cold and bug I ever previously had was nothing close to the flu.
Since then, I get a shot every year. I did have a weird reaction to this year's shot but more of a discomfort than anything else. You cannot get the flu from a flu shot. If you get the flu after it, you were already exposed. It takes two weeks to kick in.
Every time I have had a flu shot, I've gotten a reaction that was probably as bad as having the flu anyway. And I don't buy that old "you were already incubating the flu!" excuse either.
PLUS - you are only being vaccinated against strains that have been around for a while, not strains that are mutating in real time. I think flu shots are essentially worthless for normally healthy people, and taking consistent precautions will probably serve you just as well.
I last had a flu shot in 2002, immediately had a reaction that lasted about 2 weeks, and have never had another one - and have not gotten the flu, either.
I used to think they were a waste of time. Then 5 years ago I got the flu in mid-January. I never really recovered until the end of April. I went to the dr almost every week and took tamiflu twice. The dr said I was getting new flu bugs and it wasn't the same bug but regardless I was in a living hell almost the entire winter.
The next year I got a flu shot and then each autumn afterwards. Not even a cold (knock wood) has befalled me.
I swear by them.
[quote]Every time I have had a flu shot, I've gotten a reaction that was probably as bad as having the flu anyway
No it wasn't.
I had real influenza when I was fifteen. It was bad enough that I wasn't able to get in and out of bed on my own.
I would never, ever want to go through that, or wish it on anyone else.
The Voice of the Night
The flu shot is concocted with inactive (i.e. pulverized) viral material from the top 3 flus that are circulating at the time the vaccine is developed. This year we have the exact same 3 as last year - this is very rare.
You cannot get the flu from the flu shot but you're not going to believe me so ask your doctor and/or nurse. The purpose of the flu shot is to alert your immune system to immediately identify and annihilate that motherfucker the instant you are exposed to it.
I work with the homeless and mistakenly thought I'd had the flu several times in my life. My experience was like R2 however it did not last weeks. I was shocked at the fatigue and the aches. It was impossible to work, drive or do anything except moan and bitch and sleep for at least 3 days. It hit me like a mack truck.
I had the flu one other year when there was a shortage of vaccine. Maybe I need it more than you because of my risk of exposure but I'm voting a big FUCK YEA to getting that flu vaccine and I'll get mine at my 4:15P appointment next Thursday.
VOTN, do you ever wonder if there's a relationship between that bad flu and your arthritis?
[quote]VOTN, do you ever wonder if there's a relationship between that bad flu and your arthritis?
I don't know that it's actually likely from what I've learned in Biochemistry this year, but it is something I've considered.
The Voice of the Night
Are free ones available for silver fox types?
NO, I have never had one and probably will not ever. The health care industry and pharmaceutical corporate greed is posturing to make us all dependent on their poisons.
VOTN, it seems to be something a lot of us arthritis sufferers have in common, a memorable bout of flu. I had a physiotherapist who was convinced there was a connection though she had no real evidence. Physicians won't go there. When asked, my doctor said he was more interested in the massive doses of prednisone I had as a child.
R9 that's another reason I've always been reluctant plus the fear that the gov't would pull some experiment on us. That may sound crazy but I don't trust them at all.
I've never had one and have never gotten the flu. I see no need to get a shot if you have a good immune system.
this is a thread where i would very much value charlie's opinion.
charlie, do YOU get a shot every year?
I said I had a REACTION, which was PROBABLY as bad as having the flu. I did not say I have never had the flu, did not say I didn't know what the flu feels like, and did not mention any symptoms that would allow you to compare your own symptoms (at the age of 15) with mine.
So stop ASSuming, VOTN. Go get your flu shot. And then shut up.
yes. Get the pneumonia shot as well. Lasts 5 years & it is the best. I used to get pneumonia once a year, but for 6 years now, no pneumonia. (Got another this year)
One of my teachers died from the Swine Flue vaccine in the 70s. It was great because she was a heinous bitch.
OP, I haven't had a flu shot in years, and haven't been sick in years, either.
Op, Seriously, my aunt died from a flu shot at 63. It's a propagated bunch of crap by the health industry, methinks. None for me thanks, I have enough physical dependencies, I'll pass on this one.
As you get older, whether you get a flu shot or not pretty much depends on how you feel about dying.
The shot is free at my HMO & I've never had a reaction other than sometimes very minor itching &/or swelling &/or redness at the site for a couple of days. I have had the flu twice & don't want it again (104 degree fever last time) -- no guarantees with the shot, but I see no reason not to take advantage of whatever protection it offers.
I know someone who says that her grandma died from getting a flu shot, but there's no medical evidence to support that. She may have been allergic & not known it, or she may have caught the flu before the shot, or she may have caught something else. As a general proposition, vaccines don't kill people.
I'm like R1. For years, I never bothered to get a flu shot until I got sick. I literally woke up in the morning feeling fine and by 1pm could barely get home on the subway because I was so feverish and sick. I ended up in bed for a week and it took me another week at home to recover my strength.
After that, I got a flu shot every year (for the last fifteen years). Never had a reaction more than a sore arm and I never got the severe flu again.
But everyone has a different opinion.
Does the flu jab now have the swine flu jab mixed in with it?
For the US, yes. There are two strains of Influenza A and one of Influenza B, one of which is based on H1N1.
The Voice of the Night
Everyone should get a flu shot. And no, no one is alergic or going to get sick from a flu shot. It's all in your head. Get your flu shot, goddammit.
Am I so paranoid that I'm the only one who thinks flu shots, promoted like hell by the US government, are intended to make us ill and decrease the population faster? I wouldn't get near one.
[quote] And no, no one is alergic or going to get sick from a flu shot.
If you are allergic to eggs or feathers, then you can get sick from the vaccine.
I think R25's tinfoil hat is on a bit too tight.
[quote]Am I so paranoid that I'm the only one who thinks flu shots, promoted like hell by the US government, are intended to make us ill and decrease the population faster? I wouldn't get near one.
As there are currently 312 million Americans with an additional one added every eight seconds, I would say they're not doing a very good job.
The Voice of the Night
I never got the flu shot. I got the flu in 1999. I've never been so ill in my life.
I got out of bed only to use the bathroom for a week. I prayed for death. My teeth hurt.
I get the shot annually now.
I always get them. No problems so far. Got one two days ago.
The U.S. government gave poisonous shots to soldiers going into the Gulf wars, and the shots causes extensive nerve damage rather than protecting the soldiers.
Maybe charlie has died from the flu, or from his flu shot?
Well, in any case, I had mine a few days ago. I had my normal sore throat that I always seem to get from it, and it actually seemed worse than normal, but it cleared up.
The Voice of the Night
I've had the flu twice and it was horrible. If you have insurance it should be covered. If not, it is pretty cheap at a big name pharmacy. Why suffer when you can prevent it?
I don't get sick days at work, I just get a general vacation fund that I have to use for sick days and I'll be goddamned if I'm taking one of those precious days for the goddamned flu, so I'll take all the flu shots they are handing out.
Been getting them for years and haven't had the flu.
R36, I bet you got along just fine before the U.S. government and U.S. pharmaceutical companies started pushing these flu shots upon everyone.
Is government mind control. My shot turned me into a republican!
They are now covered whe you get them at your doctor's office. Obama's health plan requires this of all medical insurance.
I got one today and when I asked how much the bill was, the nurse said these preventative shots are now covered by insurance thanks to Obama's heath care plan. Of course if the rethugs get this overturned in the courts, we'll have to pay next year.
As I understand it, there seemed to be a connection between Parkinson's disease and the Flu pandemic of 1918. A very high proportion of Parkinson's victims in nursing homes had survived the flu. So my guess is a number of chronic diseases typically afflicting the elderly may actually be after effects of one flu or another.
And yes, anyone who says they get the flu from the vaccine is likely to have gotten a cold, think it is the flu and make these proclaimations. I had the real flu only once in my life and I literally thought I was going to die, and while going through the worst of it, did not really care if I did or not. I started getting sick while on a sking vacation, on the third day, I got snowed in the airport for 36 hours as it got worse. By the time I got home, I had a fever of 105, hallucinations while the fever raged, fainting when I got up out of bed, joint aches so bad I kept dreaming I had been in an auto accident, severe, bed soaking night sweats that lasted for months and then it all ended up turning into pneumonia after a month and half. So when people have a case of the sniffles and say they have the "flu" I think "fuck you candyass". I never miss getting a vaccination again.
I had the "I think I'm gonna die" flu five years ago,and it took weeks to recover. I get a flu shot every year. If you can't afford them I think you can go to the local health department and get it for free or ten dollars. I don't recall ever seeing so many places to get your shot. They're advertsing it everywhere.
The other thing to consider is your work/living habits. If you're in contact with the public, or work in an office with a lot of other people,if you're around little kids, or work in a hospital, or nursing home, or around the elderly, you need to get a flu shot.
If you eat out a lot you need to get a flu shot. My partner and I have some lifestyle changes we apply during flu season. We don't eat out as much. We don't go to the movies or the mall as much, and we try to avoid crowds.
Also, wash your hands. Sometimes people go to the supermarket and come home, put the groceries away, and then eat. They never wash their hands! Buy some of those Lysol anti- bacteria wipes for your bathroom and kitchen counters. Use it for the phones in your office, too.
If you do get sick get rid of your toothbrush as soon as you are past your crisis. In fact, brush your teeth a lot, and keep your hands away from your face. Bacteria and germs get into your blood stream from your teeth. I have been well for five years, and I never want to get sick like that again. It was scarey.
Flu shots are not a big moneymaker for the pharmaceutical companies.
R39 -- what about the uninsured -- are they supposed to die?
The uninsured are the ones who need it most. Spend $10 or $25 dollars now and avoid being rushed to the hospital with pneumonia. Or worse. As I said, check with local health department offices to see if they offer them for free. Everyone should get one.
Oh. I forgot one other thing. Travel. Air travel is a really bad prospect in flu season. Many of us will travel. Be very careful about hygeine. I carry a pack of anti bacterial wipes in my pocket. I rarely eat on the plane and I drink a lot of bottle water once I get off the plane.
Most pharmacies give the vaccine for about $25 if you're not covered. Compared to the cost of being out of work and not covered it's a bargain.
People who have had the flu get a flu shot. They never want to be that sick again.
I don't have time to get sick. If my business slows down I will go under so I have to be healthy.
R15, I asked about a pneumonia shot, but was told you have to be (everyone take a deep breath) at least 65 or older. So needless to say, I did not get a pneumonia shot, but I get a flu shot every year after having the flu so bad that I was sick for 2 months and my husband barely recognized me. I felt like one of the living dead. Since taking the shot, I've not even had a cold.
R47, you need a new doctor. Anyone who asks their physician should be able to get the PPV vaccine. You don't need to be 65 or older.
If anyone is a smoker, they should definitely get it. And if you do ever get a severe form of flu, the PPV vaccine can protect you from dying of complications or being admitted to a hospital.
I missed my flu shot about 10 years ago, and of course I got it. Never again. My Christmas vacation was ruined I remember that I couldn't even watch TV because the light of the screen hurt my eyes too much.
If you live in the Province of Ontario (Canada) then the flu shots are free to all. They've been doing this for perhaps the last 10 years to see if they can lessen the demand in Hospital emergency rooms during January and February when the flu hits hard.
Free clinics are set up throughout the province for everyone who wants to get a shot, can. Also primary health care providers have them for their patients.
Wow, a good number of you are completely sold on getting flu shots.
How do you suppose you survived before you started getting flu shots?
Anybody that claims a "reaction" or a flu-like illness that lasts a few days immediately after getting the flu shot is mistaken. When you get a flu shot, you are usually in a clinic or pharmacy i.e. places where sick people usually congregate. You managed to pick up a cold while waiting for your shot.
As many have pointed out already (and this is what I tell patients), there is quite a difference between a bad cold and the flu. Patients tell me all the time they don't plan on getting the flu this season. I reply by telling them that I don't plan on getting in a car accident on the way home from work, but it could happen anyway.
By getting a flu shot, you protect both yourself and those around you. If you get the flu, you can most certainly give it to others before you develop symptoms. Get yours while it's still early in the season.
R50, in the USA, nothing is free. I am surprised the Republicans have not instituted a way for the little people to have to pay for sunshine.
Not only do I not get the flu since starting flu shots, my sinus infections have lessened considerably. I used to be good for 3-5 really bad infections a year and I'm down to maybe 1 and not nearly as bad. Maybe everyone is different but for me, they have been a godsend.
R47: if you have a chronic lung condition like asthma or COPD/emphysema or are considered immunosuppressed (you have diabetes, are taking long term corticosteroids, or have HIV disease, for instance), then you should get pneumovax no matter what.
Your doctor was likely following United States Preventive Services Task Force recommendations, which if memory serves me correctly, if you don't have the aforementioned conditions, Pneumovax is indicated for those 55 and over and a second dose at age 65.
Ask the Republicans about the uninsured, R44.
Like many on this thread, I get the flu shot every year -- ever since I got the real flu in college and was sick as a dog for a week. I don't mean achey and feverish and deciding to stay in bed. I mean in agony. Pain all the time. fevers. chills. Misery.
Now I get flu shots and never get sick. Never have a reaction either. It's a complete no-brainer to me. I can't imagine why anyone would not get one. Even for most with egg allergies, there is a safe way to get the vaccine.
I just had a physical and the doc said it was up to me whether to get it. If you're in good health it sucks but it won't kill you. If you're elderly, diabetic, HIV+, or have any other reason why your immune system is weakened, flu can kill you. For those people it's a must.
For the people who had the 3 weeks in bed, hallucinating kind of flu, do you have any of these other conditions? I've had the flu and it was like a cold with a fever and aches. It wasn't fun, but it wasn't so awful.
And flu vaccines, like any vaccines, are not without risks. The risks are small, and the benefits outweigh them overall, but a small number of people do have bad reactions.
This discussion is sort of amusing in a way. Here we have a community of gay guys who will suck a stranger's cock and (some) let themselves be topped deep and long. Yet these people are worried about a flu shot?
>For the people who had the 3 weeks in bed, hallucinating kind of flu, do you have any of these other conditions?
No, I was a heavy smoker back in those days, but had no underlying conditions, I was super healthy and in my late 20's. I am sure every strain of flu is different, and this one was just an extra bad one. But also, I flew while having it and I am sure the air pressure changes pushed all kinds of opportunistic bacteria deep into my ears, sinuses and bronchal tubes that were already swollen and inflamed with the flu virus. And I am sure I probably infected a lot of people on that plane with my flu as well.... I didn't have a choice, I had to get home, I had spent the previous 36 hours curled up on the floor of a concourse and had nowhere to go or anyone there to take care of me once my friends got on thier planes when the airport reopened, but I feel bad to this day about spreading it.
[quote] I've had the flu and it was like a cold with a fever and aches. It wasn't fun, but it wasn't so awful
Most people who have the flu have a much different experience.
WEHT the days before flu shots?
Interesting, R40. My g-grandfather died from the 1918 flu and my grandfather had Parkenson's...hmmmm...
R61, many did, especially children and the elderly. Google the Spanish Flu. It was more virulent than normal and killed, I believe, 18,000,000 worldwide.
In the 1918-1920 flu pandemic, between 3-6% of the population of the planet died.
That's what it was like before the flu shot.
Most major cities that have Gay and Lesbian Community Centers will give away flu shots as well.
I also heard that the traveling baseball teams helped to spread the flu. My g-granddad was a "huge" baseball fan. Supposedly, he went into an ice house to cool off after a game and then got the flu. "Spanish Flu" never made it down thru the stories for some reason. I simply looked at the dates and put it together. Then I sawsomething, I think it was a PBS show, that talked about the traveling baseball teams spreading it around the county.
What a bunch of 98-pound weaklings you all must be! I never get a flu shot, I rarely even get a cold, and since I've been on Singulair, I never get sinus infections.
But I am a lesbian.
I have never gotten the flu. I have also never gotten a flu shot.
I get a cold once a year sometimes, but that's it.
I am 49 now and have had the flu exactly ONE time. And I think I actually came close to dying from it. So all of you who smugly state you never get shots and despite this never get the flu are talking through your ass. It is like people dismissing wearing seat belts because they have never had a major car crash. YET. Or continuing to smoke in bed because they have never fallen asleep and set themselves on fire. YET. Those things don't happen on a regular basis either asshats, but when they do.......
The flu used to be just the flu, not something so deadly and so severe.
It seems the definition of the flu and fear of the flu has changed since the flu shots became popular.
And I'm talking about the flu from the 1940's thru about 2003.
Not talking about 1918.
Oh boy, opinions sure generate heat!
Well, some of these posts are opinions, R71, and some are science. There's a difference.
R70, you got me curious.
From 1930 to 1936, the mortality rate averaged between 30 and 40 per 100,000 people. Today it is about 5 per 100,000.
Those seemed unusually high. The mortality rate declines steadily from there and plummets after the war, during which the first vaccine was introduced and became increasingly wide spread.
When you feel sick after a flu shot, it's the aluminum and mercury in the shot.
It's aluminum and mercury poisoning, folks.
Pay the extra for the adjuvant-free shot. Pregnant women get this.
[quote]It seems the definition of the flu and fear of the flu has changed since the flu shots became popular.
[quote]And I'm talking about the flu from the 1940's thru about 2003.
Yes, and that could in no way be related to our increased understanding of virology and population biology.
The Voice of the Night
I am one of those people who never catches anything that's going around. I get a cold once a year, but that's it.
But I did catch the 'flu, three years ago. Coincidentally, that was also the only year I opted to have a 'flu jab. I was in off work for three weeks, I couldn't get out of bed for days, it would take me hours to get up the strength to to go to the bathroom. I have only been that sick and helpless once before in my life. It took me about six weeks to recover.
Since then, I have decided not to fuck with my immune system...
Flu can be avoided (well partly) if everyone adopts good hygiene. Consistently wash you hands and don't touch your face.
I remember reading that wearing face masks helped prevent the flu, but it wasn't the fact that face masks stopped people inhaling flu germs, but that the masks reminded people to stop touching their faces.
[quote] The flu used to be just the flu, not something so deadly and so severe.
The viruses mutate. Some years we get milder strains than others. What scares me are the viruses that are being created in factory farming settings and travelling from livestock to humans.
Need a job. A big ole pandemic would be OK.
If I get the flu and die, I won't need a job.
If job slots open up due to widespread pestilence, then I'm in like Flynn.
Encephalitis epidemics appear after flu epidemics. Direct correlation. Not as many cases of encephalitis as there are of flu, but a spike in encephalitis occurs.
Link to a modern encephalitis/influenza correlation.
My grandfather's ten year old sister came down with encephalitis as the Spanish flu pandemic was winding down. She had been a normal child, but was never the same after the encephalitis and lived her adult life under the care of nuns in Ireland.
So with the exception of r78, from this thread I can conclude that people who've never had the flu don't get flu shots, and people who've had it get shots without hesitation.
When I worked in a clinic, I was told, "Everybody comes in and tells you they have the flu, or they are getting over the flu. Ask them, 'How many days did you spend in bed?' If it's less than three, then they didn't have the flu, they had a cold. When people have the flu, they cannot get out of bed for three days. Anything less is a cold."
I found this to be true and could soon easily spot a real flu sufferer.
That's odd r87, I was told by my doctor that if you're achy and have a fever, it's usually the flu. But if you have runny nose and cough (and maybe a slight fever( it's a cold. I've never been unable to get out of bed for 3 days but I've been told I've had the flu. Never got a flu shot.
I think it depends on how strong your immune system is. It affects people differently.
I just can't believe charlie didn't weigh in to this thread.
I've never had the flu, and I don't want to get the flu shot - to me, it's introducing viruses that for whatever reason my immune system seems to be able to fight off. I asked my doctor and she said I was nuts, but that as I am basically healthy she was OK with me not getting the shot, because the flu will make me sick and miss work but I wouldn't be hospitalized or anything. She said that if I were to get sick next week it wouldn't be because of the shot but because this is the time of year that people get sick, and that there have been enormous studies that prove the flu shot is effective.
I don't know - RiteAid gives out a booklet of coupons if you get the flu shot there. It still seems like a huge marketing scam to me.
I also find r87's comment odd, because it's possible to get knocked out by the flu for just 48 hours.
In the UK, doctors often use a money test. You have the flu if someone puts a five pound note on a table (or on your lawn), but cannot make it out of bed to fetch it.
(With inflation, this should probably be the 'fifty pound note' test now).
I contracted bubonic plague off a flu jab. Not worth it.
I'm a diabetic with asthma.
The moment the CDC approves a vaccine, I get it.
Charlie might be sick with flu and can't respond to this thread.
[quote]I think it depends on how strong your immune system is. It affects people differently
In the 1918 pandemic, the people with the strongest immune systems, i.e., the young and the healthy, died at a higher rate due to a "cytokine storm."
"The 1918 virus killed mostly healthy adults between the ages of fifteen and forty-five—people with generally robust immune systems. It is believed that it was their robust immune systems that killed them.
A cytokine is a generic term for regulatory molecules (proteins or glycoproteins) produced by various immune cells in the course of a response. A cytokine storm results from an excessive immune system reaction that damages the body, causing failure of multiple organ systems
This thread really drew out the crazies.
The flu should not last 6 weeks if your immune system is normal.
r97, my immune system is perfectly fine, but the flu weakened my immune system and led to pneumonia. That's what generally kills people.
I had never been so sick in my life nor have I been sick since. Don't under estimate how dangerous the flu can be.
$10 or $25? Where do you live? CVS in DC is charging $40 for the shot - I paid $30 last year.
It is very irresponsible not to get the flu shot. You can pass it on even if you don't get a bad case personally. I would think that at a gay site that we are more mindful of those with weakened immune systems who might not survive a bout of flu than we are of ridiculous tin hat conspiracies.
Get your fucking flu shot.
Costco in Los Angeles. $20. No insurance necessary.
Getting it through my health plan was five bucks more.
I haven't had the flu as an adult, but I'm down with a cold right now.
I find flue shots suspect because I find our government suspect.
I agree with the poster who said it seems like a scam.
ANDERSON COOPER = GAY SHAME!!!
[quote]CVS in DC is charging $40 for the shot.
Odd... that a national chain would sell it at different prices. I got mine yesterday at a CVS in NYC. It cost me $29.99.