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Flu vaccinations
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Contributors to this thread:
Fivers 05-Oct-17
Fivers 05-Oct-17
gflight 05-Oct-17
Franzen 05-Oct-17
elkmtngear 05-Oct-17
Fivers 05-Oct-17
gflight 05-Oct-17
Spike Bull 05-Oct-17
gflight 05-Oct-17
Hunting5555 05-Oct-17
Lark Bunting 06-Oct-17
HA/KS 06-Oct-17
Spike Bull 06-Oct-17
HA/KS 06-Oct-17
Spike Bull 06-Oct-17
Franzen 06-Oct-17
Joey Ward 06-Oct-17
Amoebus 06-Oct-17
sleepyhunter 06-Oct-17
Scar Finga 06-Oct-17
Franzen 06-Oct-17
slade 06-Oct-17
Gray Ghost 06-Oct-17
'Ike' (Phone) 06-Oct-17
HA/KS 06-Oct-17
Pig Doc 06-Oct-17
Bownarrow 06-Oct-17
Mint 06-Oct-17
IdyllwildArcher 06-Oct-17
Gray Ghost 06-Oct-17
sportoutfitter 06-Oct-17
sportoutfitter 06-Oct-17
Whitey 06-Oct-17
'Ike' (Phone) 07-Oct-17
Lucas 07-Oct-17
sportoutfitter 07-Oct-17
gflight 07-Oct-17
Mike in CT 07-Oct-17
Gray Ghost 07-Oct-17
Franzen 07-Oct-17
dm/wolfskin 07-Oct-17
Mike in CT 07-Oct-17
pipe 07-Oct-17
Gray Ghost 07-Oct-17
gflight 07-Oct-17
Shuteye 07-Oct-17
Mike in CT 07-Oct-17
NvaGvUp 07-Oct-17
Pat Lefemine 07-Oct-17
slade 07-Oct-17
gflight 08-Oct-17
gflight 11-Oct-17
elkmtngear 11-Oct-17
From: Fivers
05-Oct-17
After the third email, from our local health department, to get our annual free health vaccination, I asked for any FDA approved studies that showed the effectiveness of the vaccine. I remember seeing or hearing of some studies on here before and I know there are much more smarter people on this site than I, so I am looking for information that you may have on this Flu vaccination obsession.

I received the attached information from them, to me, a lot of the numbers don't seem to make sense and I'm really unclear on how they came up with them. I didn't read the entire document, but the information I did read seemed to be somewhat "cooked" to get what they wanted to end up with. The only studies that they seem to have done over the last several years were observation studies to people that have been seen at the hospitals.

Read to your hearts content and let me know what you think of the information given to me.

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/vaccineeffect.htm

From: Fivers
05-Oct-17
For some reason it wouldn't let me put the web address in a link.

From: gflight
05-Oct-17

gflight's embedded Photo
gflight's embedded Photo
No controlled trials demonstrating a decrease in influenza for this one....

From: Franzen
05-Oct-17
Well I believe the goal was to get every single American believing they constantly need to go to the doctor for something so that socialized medicine could be rammed down our throats. Flu "vaccines" seem to be one of the many suggested "necessary" medical treatments. The goal is nearly accomplished from what I see.

From: elkmtngear
05-Oct-17
When they try to "force" me to get it in my Office, they get my middle finger in response.

I refuse to sign a waiver as well, or wear a mask.

From: Fivers
05-Oct-17
Franzen-

That is about the same take that I have. To me, they seem to be pushing this pretty hard. As I mentioned, "After the third email"!!!!!

From: gflight
05-Oct-17
Mercury is the neuro-toxin they use to preserve it, but they only use a little bit....

05-Oct-17
I am healthy as a horse and have always acted against all these vaccines, heck I dont even take ibuprofen, but when I was 65 I got the flu and lost 8 pounds in 4 days. It took me over 7 months to really recover from it. Fearing a repeat I got the flu vaccine last year and was healthy all year. Not necessarily because of the vaccine, I know. I am undecided this fall. I cannot afford to have a repeat of the flu I had two years ago, it would cost me way too dearly to be put down that way again now.

From: gflight
05-Oct-17
Humidity up, hands and surfaces clean, hands away from eyes and mouth, stay in shape, and you will be better off than poisoning yourself with the vaccine.

From: Hunting5555
05-Oct-17
My mom's doctor has always pushed her to get the flu vaccine. She was in another hospital for a kidney issue and the subject came up. Her kidney doctor held his arms spread wide and said "There are this many different types of flu at any given time of the year". He then put his arms down and held his finger and thumb about a 1/4" apart and said "Flu shot covers this many types......" He said they try to make an educated guess at what type will be the worst type each year. He said her odds of getting some type of flu is basically the same whether she got the flu shot or not.

From: Lark Bunting
06-Oct-17
Lots of uneducated opinions in this thread.

From: HA/KS
06-Oct-17
Hunting, your mom needs a different kidney doctor!

06-Oct-17
Well, he is correct, HA. It takes a year to make the flu vaccine so last year they took a guess which strains of flu would be most likely to occur this season and prepared the vaccine to be effective against those few strains.

Sometimes they get it right.

From: HA/KS
06-Oct-17
Spike, he may be correct at some level of science, but he is NOT medically correct, and shows a great deal of either ignorance or poor medical judgment.

I would not go to him and would urge anyone I care about to avoid his office as well.

Somehow this reminded me of psychologists who say they are scientists, therefore qualified to comment on climate change.

06-Oct-17
Having never been to a kidney doctor, or even played one on tv, I will defer to your judgement! However, I may or may not get a flu shot.

From: Franzen
06-Oct-17
Lark, please point to the uneducated ones, so that we/they can be educated.

From: Joey Ward
06-Oct-17
The flu is my only shot at a couple days of bed rest. :-)

From: Amoebus
06-Oct-17

Amoebus's Link
I am in agreement with Henry on this one. From Fivers' link:

"What are the benefits of flu vaccination?

While how well the flu vaccine works can vary, there are many reasons to get a flu vaccine each year.

- Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with flu.

-Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization, including among children and older adults.

-Vaccine effectiveness for the prevention of flu-associated hospitalizations was similar to vaccine effectiveness against flu illness resulting in doctor’s visits in a comparative study published in 2016.

-Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions. ?Flu vaccination has been associated with lower rates of some cardiac (heart) events among people with heart disease, especially among those who experienced a cardiac event in the past year.

-Flu vaccination also has been associated with reduced hospitalizations among people with diabetes (79%) and chronic lung disease (52%).

-Vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy. Getting vaccinated can also protect a baby after birth from flu. (Mom passes antibodies onto the developing baby during her pregnancy.) ?A study that looked at flu vaccine effectiveness in pregnant women found that vaccination reduced the risk of flu-associated acute respiratory infection by about one half.

-There are studies that show that flu vaccine in a pregnant woman can reduce the risk of flu illness in her baby by up to half. This protective benefit was observed for several months after birth.

-And a 2017 study was the first of its kind to show that flu vaccination can significantly reduce a child’s risk of dying from influenza.

-Flu vaccination also may make your illness milder if you do get sick. (For example a 2017 study showed that flu vaccination reduced deaths, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, ICU length of stay, and overall duration of hospitalization among hospitalized flu patients.)

-Getting vaccinated yourself also protects people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions."

List of referenced studies is listed in my link.

From: sleepyhunter
06-Oct-17
I get one every year. Haven't had any problems.

From: Scar Finga
06-Oct-17
I get a shot every year as well. When I used to get sick, I would get bronchitis with it just about every time, sometimes more than twice a year. Now I never get it,. I have asthma and am prone to it, but I think the flu shot helps my body fight it off by keeping me from getting really sick. JMO

From: Franzen
06-Oct-17
Have they done any studies on the rate and severity of strain development since the excessive use of the vaccines has become commonplace? Who does the studies? Are most by chance done by those who stand to profit from the ever-increasing reliance on doctors and medicine?

I find it interesting that all the information easily available on the CDC website only puts the influenza vaccines in a positive light. If it were strictly scientifically based, they would openly express the negative side too. Having said all that, there is a time and place for most things, and the vaccine is no different. Some SHOULD probably get it.

From: slade
06-Oct-17
My wife is a medical professional and is strongley encouraged to get the shot.

I rarely ever caught the flu and never got the shot, my Dr and wife strongley suggessted I start getting the shot which I did and started getting the flu, stoped getting the shot , stopped getting the flu.

Family member who rarely gets stick was encouraged to get the pneumia shot before going to South America in May for a medical mission and yep they came down with double pneumia a week later and had to cancel their trip.

From: Gray Ghost
06-Oct-17
For the record, you can't get the flu or pneumonia from their respective vaccines. That's a myth.

I haven't had a flu shot, or the flu, in over 40 years (typed as I knock on wood). So, I guess I'm in the "it's not necessary" camp. I'm no physician, but I believe the body's immune system becomes dependent on vaccines and other preventative medicines, instead of developing its own natural immunity to certain illnesses.

That said, I do usually get at least one head and chest cold a year. It's always after I fly, without exception. Therefore, I'm convinced planes are nothing more than huge incubators for contagious illnesses. I'm almost inclined to be one of "those guys" who wears a mask when I travel.

Matt

06-Oct-17
I get it every year as well...If I do happen to get sick, it doesn’t seem so extreme or last as long...Usually I’m traveling (flying) for hunts, so if it saves me somewhere along the line, it’s worth it!

From: HA/KS
06-Oct-17
"When I used to get sick, I would get bronchitis with it just about every time, sometimes more than twice a year. Now I never get it"

I was one who resisted getting the shot for many years. I have gotten it for the past couple and just realized that I got through both of the past winters without my respiratory troubles that for a number of years before would linger for weeks.

I am not claiming cause and effect, but this does make me wonder.

BTW, I got the shot on Wednesday and have been quite achy the past two days :-)

Not claiming cause and effect on that one either but ...

From: Pig Doc
06-Oct-17
The challenge with flu vaccines is that there are many strain variations of flu and a single vaccine does not cover all of them. Every year vaccine producers make their best guess on what strains will out there. If they are right, protection is excellent, if they miss it there will be little or no protection. I'm not anti-vaccine but I never get flu shots and never get the flu. I agree with the points made about washing hands, keeping hands away from mouth, nose and eyes.

From: Bownarrow
06-Oct-17
Get your shot. Wash your hands. Get plenty of rest. Avoid others with cough, red eyes, sick looking when possible.

From: Mint
06-Oct-17
I take the long island rail road into work in NYC everyday so if I don't get the shot I've got a 50/50 chance of getting the flu since some idiot with the flu is always on the train. Since I started getting the flu shot I haven't got the flu in ten years. Plus my wife has a lower immune system due to a kidney transplant so I never want to get her sick.

06-Oct-17
Jesus Christ guys, do you shake your heads when people who know nothing about your personal profession talk like they know everything?

Flu vaccines decrease your risk of getting the flu by about 70%. Some years they pick wrong and the vaccine is largely worthless. Most years, most people don't get the flu, but when they do, it's a nasty virus that kills about 36,000 people per year in the US and close to a 1/2 million people around the world.

It's your choice, but to talk like flu vaccines are part of some government conspiracy makes you sound like some fruit cake San Francisco hippie. We are absolutely blessed to have the modern medical system we have in this country that works tirelessly to keep us all alive despite so many fruitloops thinking the boogie man is out to get us and vitamins and kale solve all medical woes.

It never ceases to amaze me how I'll see the uneducated skeptic talk non-sense on the best medical system the world has ever seen - while he's healthy - and then as soon as the shit hits the fan with his health, cries "save me save me!"

"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing."

-Matthew 23:37

From: Gray Ghost
06-Oct-17
"Flu vaccines decrease your risk of getting the flu by about 70%. Some years they pick wrong and the vaccine is largely worthless. "

Hmm...not to step on your professional toes, but those two comments seem to be contradictory.

Are you saying that 70% includes the years when they pick wrong, or just in the years they get it right? Do you have conclusive evidence to back that up? And what physical profile does that 70% apply to? Is it everybody, or just the elderly and infants?

And what studies can you point to that prove vaccines haven't reduced people's natural immune systems from fending off the flu?

I'm just curious, and would love to learn from someone who is educated in these matters.

Matt

06-Oct-17
I'm with you GG. Every time we get a runny nose a doc wants to give us a dose of antibiotics. I would think this has to lower a persons natural immune system.

06-Oct-17

From: Whitey
06-Oct-17
Wear a garlic necklace and wrap your feet in cabbage if you want . just don’t go in public when you get the flu.

07-Oct-17
“I'm with you GG. Every time we get a runny nose a doc wants to give us a dose of antibiotics. I would think this has to lower a persons natural immune system.”

That’s interesting, as most I know including mine, won’t give out antibiotics unless they know for sure it’s not bacterial...Been that way for awhile!

From: Lucas
07-Oct-17
You mean is bacterial.

07-Oct-17
We might need to change docs, Ike :)

From: gflight
07-Oct-17
I hope you guys that get your Flu shots each year have tracked the strains you are vaccinated against so you don't double up with ones you already have. I took them for 20 years and I guess I have them all as I haven't had a shot or the Flu since I got out. (12 years now, knock on wood)

Anyone know how long is each strain vaccine good for?

Myth or not, I always got mildly sick until the year there was a shortage and I got the live virus in the nose. Go figure...

I am not anti-vaccine for other things but the flu shot seems a lot more "shot" in the dark and something to make money every year.

From: Mike in CT
07-Oct-17

Mike in CT's Link
Matt,

Better "overall" efficacy rate for the flu vaccine from the CDC this year (includes link to study showing significant benefits to children as well).

As has been stated there's been no shortage of misinformation on this topic in this thread, though some (Amoebus for example) have added much-needed value to the topic. I spent the first half of my career in the diagnostic side of health care, actually having started a full-service virology lab from the ground up at a teaching hospital in the Yale-New Haven Health System. For those who don't know I am a microbiologist by training and to this day try to stay up-to-date on what's happening in that arena.

OK, easiest pieces first; as has been mentioned there are a lot of variant strains of influenza and for starters there's really 3 types of Influenza virus; A, B & C. Influenza A is the most virulent and is the strain the vaccines are geared towards. Influenza B, while being capable of making you just as sick as A doesn't cause pandemics. The B strain is also, as a rule, a late-season entrant into the cold & flu season, and ironically, used to be a kind of "indicator" that the worst of the flu season had passed. Last is Influenza C which causes the mildest of illnesses.

Influenza A has 2 major surface proteins that facilitate cellular attachment and entry (infection), the "H" and "N" you may be familiar with (swine flu for example is H1N1). For those dying to know the H is hemagglutinin, the N is neuraminidase.

There are 16 variants of "H" and 9 of "N", giving a total of 144 different possible combinations. The Influenza virus vaccine changes because we try to keep up with a process called "reassortment" (varying the H & N configuration from year to year). This is where the educated guessing comes in as to trying to develop the best vaccine for the most likely strain. The efficacy indicated in the attachment clearly indicates there are years where that best guess is slightly or way off the mark.

So why get vaccinated? For starters the more virulent strains of Flu A can kill, and not just the elderly or immunocompromised. Second, due to the global nature of our world one infected person can quickly share the wealth and then on and on. Quarantines weren't invented to isolate and treat the sick (though that does occur there) the greater purpose was to break the infective cycle of the pathogen (whether viral or bacterial or whatever). Lower immunity in communities enhances the rate of spread of any pathogen.

Another very significant reason is the secondary infections the flu is notorious for putting patients at risk for, most commonly, bacterial pneumonia. Worse still for the elderly who may require hospitalization for the flu they run the risk of nosocomial or "hospital-acquired infections (HAI) that often have drug-resistant, or even multi-drug resistant bacteria as the causal agent, necessitating lengthy hospital stays and prolonged exposure to heavy-hitting antibiotics (Vancomycin for example). Some of these antibiotics after prolonged exposure can be either hepatotoxic (damage the liver) or nephrotoxic (damage the kidneys) and neither of those complications bodes well for the patient, not to mention the sizable addition to one's hospital costs.

What about side-effects of the vaccine? Unfortunately, at present any vaccine has side-effects. Contrary to what has been at least hinted at in this thread every FDA-cleared vaccine, treatment (drug, e.g.) has clear warnings as to potential side-effects on their respective label. Those side-effects are determined during clinical trials and are part of the manufacturer's FDA submission package. The FDA can decline approval if they determine the % of side-effects (or severity) to be unacceptably high.

As we ruminate on this topic today the "perfect" vaccine is nowhere in sight. What I can share with you is that advances continue to made in potential treatment (if not preventative) modalities at the genetic level (as an aside, cancer is being looked at very extensively in this arena) and the greatest benefit, should this research be successful would be a significant reduction (if not complete elimination) of the prevalent side-effects of vaccines.

I hope this information offers some perspective and may offer some new insight into the choice to get a vaccination or not.

From: Gray Ghost
07-Oct-17
Mike,

Thanks for the information.

Your article states: "...recent studies show that flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40% and 60% among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are well-matched to the flu vaccine."

So, the vaccine reduces flu risk 40-60% when they guess right. Almost 0% when they don't. That's a far cry from the 70% overall, as stated earlier.

Since I'm a numbers kinda guy lets crunch a few. Let's take 100 people of varying physical profiles over a 10 year period. Assuming they only get the flu once per year, that's 1000 possible cases. Let's assume they match the vaccine well in 7 of those years. That means 700 cases could *possibly* benefit from the vaccine with a 40-60% efficiency rate. So, that's 280-420 cases out of 1000 that the vaccine actually reduces the risk.

Now, I think you'd agree, "reducing the risk" isn't the same as completely fending off the flu. So, a percentage of those reduced risk cases still get the flu, correct? What percentage is anyone's guess, but let's call it 10% conservatively. So, out of a possible 1000 cases of flu over a 10 year period, the vaccine ends up helping in 250-300 cases, maybe.

When you factor in that some physical profiles, like the elderly or infants, are more susceptible to flu, that reduces the efficiency of the vaccine on healthy adults even more. So, for an active and healthy adult, the vaccine *may* help 20-30% of the time over a 10 year period, not 70% as stated earlier.

My question about the impact of vaccines on a person's natural immune system remains. Do vaccines serve to reduce the natural immune systems ability to do its job for those who have taken them over an extended period of time? I know that's a difficult one to answer, but it's worth asking, IMO.

Matt

From: Franzen
07-Oct-17
To some degree I understand why medical professionals would get defensive when anyone questions anything medical-related (most would to some extent if it was their profession), but that doesn't necessarily mean that any point brought up by anyone else is boogeyman talk. I'm not a non-believer in medicine, but am a firm believer in over-use; of anything really. Society has been conditioned to taking the easy way out, and medical-related issues are no different.

I'd like to clarify that, while I do think it is possible that government in general may have some involvement in either active or passive form, it isn't something I have 100% conviction in. The mostly likely scenario is that the significant reliance on a vaccine has accrued via a number various reasons that likely includes good marketing from big pharma and the general cultural slide towards laziness in America. Perhaps not a direct contributor, there is no denying that government has propagated the idea that everyone needs healthcare from a medical professional, when in reality a responsible person can generally be healthy all on their own. I completely understand there are things that can neither be prevented (with today's knowledge) or treated without the medical profession, cancer being one. I'm certainly grateful that we have the ability to treat such things.

Ike/Mike, I know you are both very intelligent men. I value your input, but that doesn't mean I won't have my own questions, and will always be looking for some understanding of everything. Do either of you have any knowledge of studies done on influenza strain development since heavy use of vaccines has ensued? Would you agree that one of the body's mechanisms to fighting off viruses is the existence or development of antibodies that eliminate or resist host attachment? My understanding is that natural antibodies are less effective as new viral strains develop because they are less recognizable. Here is the kicker, and honestly this is where my opinion being an uneducated one may come into play, but I believe that different strain development may have accelerated with the advent and more prolific use of the vaccines.

From: dm/wolfskin
07-Oct-17
I'm 66 and I've never had a flu shot. The last time I had the flu was back in 1976 while in college. Now my Mom, who is 98 gets one every year and has been for a while.

From: Mike in CT
07-Oct-17
Matt,

Good questions all; I'll try to address them as best I can.

Whenever you take aggregate statistics you'll see the good, the bad and the ugly in terms of efficacy. For example, if you broke out various demographic groups you'd see much better correlation between flu vaccine and no flu in the 20-29 year old group (healthy) than you would in the 60-69 year old group.

As we age it isn't just our physical attributes that deteriorate but our immune system as well. The ability of a vaccine to elicit antibody production is directly linked to the person's immune status; the healthier the person the more likely they will be to produce effective antibodies.

Regarding "normal" antibody production in response to infection; we all know about getting a cold and eventually getting over a cold; this is a result of an immune response being mounted over time against the invading virus and then clearing it from the system. In the very health this can also play out against an agent like influenza.

The case for vaccination arises more from a)the virulence of the strain estimated to be the most likely to be prevalent in a flu season b)the more vulnerable segment of the population due to the lowered resistance to the primary infection (flu) and secondary complications (pneumonia) and finally c)the population as a whole becoming a disease vector whether by virtue of actually having the disease or by being an asymptomatic carrier.

With regard to your question about a vaccine's negatively impacting a person's immune response (the ability to muster antibodies due to exposure to virus, not vaccine) would not occur relative to the exact same strain as the vaccine existing in a particular flu cycle absent being vaccinated. The principle is the same and the immune response is the same; the body would naturally target non-host targets (most often foreign proteins) that elicit the strongest immune response. It is for this very reason that certain antigenic targets are selected for vaccines.

With regard to Franzen's questions the influenza virus (as do other viruses) has the ability to "mutate" via reassortment and appear as an antigenically distinct variant from one season to another. For this reason, if you hypothetically had elected not to be vaccinated in 2015 and your immune response fought of that year's flu strain it would not follow that you would have immunity from the 2016 strain, unless it was an exact antigenic match to the 2015 strain.

It is possible though that should the 2015 strain resurface in an exact, or even close match in say, 2022 you might have natural immunity from 2015 that would protect you; possibly fully, maybe only partially.

Again, the key variant is immunocomptence; how well your immune system is functioning. One final factor to consider with regard to public health initiatives; the concern within that body is the general public, not individuals that make up that body. Vaccination campaigns are intended for "the greater good" (a concept obviously subject to vigorous debate) hence the steady campaigns to promote vaccination programs.

One other point for Franzen's question about variation since heavy vaccination; the greater likelihood is that strain variation has been influenced more by the increasing "one world" we now live in due to expanded transportation capabilities. New strains develop for example when viruses that had for centuries been avian harbored or swine harbored have situations arise where swapping of genetic material becomes more available. Expect to see this trend continue unfortunately. Strictly limiting the question to vaccines; in reality there is little difference from the viruses perspective as to how the antibodies to a strain are produced; a variation in strain is the natural response in order to ensure the ability to reproduce remains.

I hope I addressed all points with information for you to weigh and arrive at your own respective conclusions on.

Thanks for the feedback, always welcome a good discussion.

From: pipe
07-Oct-17
How many of you were around when the polio vaccine first became available, in the late 50s and 60s?

From: Gray Ghost
07-Oct-17
Thanks Mike,

Your response has reaffirmed my position, which is flu vaccines don't reduce the risk of getting the flu nearly as much as most medical professionals will lead you to believe.

What's been left out of this discussion is how often does the vaccine actually match the strain well? I used 7 out of 10 years in my example above, but that was just a guess. Is it more like 4 out of 10, or 9 out of 10? The answer to that drastically changes the overall effectiveness of the vaccines over a period of time.

Sorry, I don't mean to be a contrarian, or overly cynical. Perhaps I'm just trying to justify my choice to not get flu vaccines over the years. Hopefully that choice doesn't come back to bite me in the a$$ in this and future years from now.

Matt

From: gflight
07-Oct-17
"To some degree I understand why medical professionals would get defensive when anyone questions anything medical-related (most would to some extent if it was their profession), but that doesn't necessarily mean that any point brought up by anyone else is boogeyman talk."

+1

It's called Critical Thinking.

If you guys present some evidence that the benefits outweigh the risk I may start getting shots this season because I am still objective.

I do have a question. How long will Flu shots protect against the type of Flu they were intended for?

From: Shuteye
07-Oct-17
I'm 75 and never had the flu and never get a flu shot. I often go years and never get sick. Have been taking 4 shots of insulin a day for 45 years since I am diabetic. I wash my hands a lot and since I retired from playing music I don't see crowds of people and I like it that way. If you have kids you will be in more danger since they go to school and are in contact with lots of other people and lord knows what they have.

From: Mike in CT
07-Oct-17

Mike in CT's Link
Matt,

You're not being contrarian my friend, merely raising valid questions and have again asked a few very good ones:

How well does the vaccine match the strain anticipated? Each year's vaccine is actually 3 viruses; two Influenza A and 1 Influenza B virus. It's not quite a "guessing game" but more an epidemiological model based on strain prevalence and trends that guide the selection of which viruses to use for each years vaccine.

Some years the vaccines are very well matched to the strain, others they come close and in some years (I believe 2009 was an example if memory serves) they're not even in the ballpark.

The link I've attached speaks to conditions that can impact vaccine efficacy, even in years where at the onset of the flu season the vaccine may be dead on the money in terms of strain match. The phenomena described (antigenic drift and antigenic shift) speak to how immunity can be lost due to changes in the 2 viral antigens targeted by the vaccine.

This speaks to glights question about duration of protection; it is directly linked to any changes in the virus. FYI, the Influenza virus is an RNA virus (there are also DNA viruses) and RNA viruses are inherently more prone to mutations.

Perhaps a good contrast I should have drawn would have been to bacterial diseases we're vaccinated against and certain viral diseases for which the virus doesn't have the same level of mutability as Influenza. For those diseases the vaccinations we receive in childhood (measles, mumps, rubella for viruses, diptheria and pertussis for bacteria) can last a lifetime or may require a "booster" shot later in life.

The advocacy for annual influenza vaccinations is an acknowledgment of the reality that lifelong immunity, even to a particular strain is highly unlikely, most likely impossible.

Always enjoy a good exchange with you Matt; stay well!

From: NvaGvUp
07-Oct-17
I've had exactly one flu shot, ever.

And that one was only because my wife, a primary care physician, told me I couldn't share a bed with her unless I got one.

That was a little odd, as the only times I ever got the flu or a cold was when she got it first and brought it home. Given her profession, that happened frequently.

Since she became my 'ex' in December, 2007, I've had NO colds and no flu since then.

Go figure.

From: Pat Lefemine
07-Oct-17
I know the flu vaccine is supposed to be inactive. But only once in 15 years did I ever have a flu shot and I was sick for three days afterward. I never took it again and I've never gotten the flu.

im not anti vaccinations, just the flu shot

From: slade
07-Oct-17
You are wrong Pat, as it has been explained above. Like me you only thought you were sick.

From: gflight
08-Oct-17
If it is in my head I should have been sicker when I sniffed the live virus...

From: gflight
11-Oct-17
"One study in England and Wales found that vaccinating young people was a more effective strategy to prevent flu in the elderly than vaccinating the elderly themselves."

From: elkmtngear
11-Oct-17
My personal reason for abstaining: I know my immune system can weather the flu, and I believe I would get a better "workout" of my immune system weathering the full-blown illness, in contrast to being shot with a weakened virus, that may or may not be specific to whatever strain is "going around". I've never been on antibiotics (at least that I know of in my adult life). That's just me ;^)

  • Sitka Gear