Monday, November 02, 2009

Randomissimo - Am I the only American who has never had a flu shot?

I've reading and hearing a lot about the Swine Flu vaccine.

As a child I went to the pediatrician every year for a check up. My mom was a nurse. Yet I never had a flu shot. In L.A. it seemed everyone I knew would get a shot for the season.

Should I get one? Do you? Why or why not?

22 comments:

Kim B. said...

I've never had one. First, I'm chicken of shots. Second, I figure if I'm going to get the flu, might as well have it. I'm not in any 'vulnerable' category. Luckily, I've not caught the flu very often. . .and not for the past few years(knock on wood).

I always figure: why take the shot and know i'll have a few aftereffects, when it's possible if I don't take it, I won't get the flu at all! This is definitely a stick-your-head-in-the-sand approach, I recognize, and not to be admired.

Diana Strinati Baur said...

I have also never had one. I have been wanting to the last couple of years. Micha did get it last year and ended up feeling really crappy (very low grade fever, feeling on the crux of getting the flu) for six weeks. He is not getting one this year. I am getting over a bad chest and head cold, and am knocking on wood that that will be it for the year. The last thing I need is to feel lousy for an elongated period of time. My homeopath in Germany is sending me a winter package of trace minerals and immune system boosters. Should be hear this week... I am going to try that this year and see how it goes...

gibber said...

I don't know sis. You're pretty healthy. I never got one becuase I'm chicken of needles and lazy. But when they started doing a flu clinic at my last job, I figured I couldn't excuse not paying 25 bucks for the convenience. Plus, I'm sickly with the athsma, so 2 years ago I started getting my flu vaccine and knock on wood have not had any issues.

This year I got the seasonal flu shot at work (its free!) And last week, I got the H1N1 shot. I hear a lot about this flu in my work and who it targets and kills, so I figured as soon as my ass was eligible, I'd get it.

Flu.gov is a great resource for those who are feeling ill and not sure if they need to go to a doctor. The best piece of advice I can give is if you're not feeling well, please try and stay home. That 60 minutes story should be an eye opener to all. Boy had flu symptoms, played a football game. Everyone on both teams and the cheerleaders came down with H1N1. They all recovered. The boy is sadly still fighting for his life in a coma.

Simone said...

I have never had the flu shot and have traveled alot during the various flu seasons and I have (knock on wood) only had the flu once in all these years..made it through..maybe stronger!

yummysushipajamas said...

Before we had kids, we never got a shot. We were in the prime range of people who didn't really need one... young, healthy, and not caretakers of children, seniors, or ill people. Now that we have our daughter, we are getting both the regular and h1n1 vaccines, and she will be getting at least one as well.

I think as long as you aren't in a risk group, there is no reason to get one.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I never got them until I developed asthma at age 38. Now every time I get near a respiratory germ I end up on steroids. Yuck. I love flu shots now - they actually help.

I'm not sure you're in any categories that would warrant them. I'd probably get the swine flu shot if I were you, though, just because it's such a bizarre disease and can really cause issues for our age group.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

kimb - I do not like shots AT ALL. I'm reading so much controversy about H1N1 not sure what to do about that one. There have only been a few swine flu cases in Italy.

diana - I'm glad you are feeling better. Last winter I had a slight cold for a few days and that was it. I'm going to read more about the risk groups for Swine Flu and see what the story is.

gibber - thank for the website info. I'll check it out. That 60 Minutes story is frightening. Why does this strain spread so easily?

simone - part of me is thinking why fix something that isn't broken but every time I turn on the news there's another story about the Swine flu. Is it really a pandemic or are we overacting?

ysp - I'm not sure if I am in the risk group which is why I'm going to do some research. I don't have children and I'm not a caretaker.

jen - I might call my doctor and ask her about it too.

J.Doe said...

You are not in a high risk group so if you get the flu in a few days you will surely recover. People in high risk groups should get the shot as they might get complications from which they might not recover.
If you don't want it, it is your choice.
When I started working part-time in a hospital and flu shots were a requirement I got them. I remember that first year at my other job everybody was into 'natural things' and the flu vaccine was not 'natural'. They all caught the flu and were out sick for several days. Nobody died but in a company where sick days and vacation days were linked it was sort of funny that only I the one who took the 'unnatural' flu vaccine could take the full 2 week vacation.
Now I am no longer working in a hospital but as the mother of a young child I got the flu shot and will get the H1N1 shot as well as give one to my daughter when it becomes available.

amandainrome said...

I'm an American who has never had the flu shot before. Or a case of the flu really. Then last Thursday I woke up with a fever of 102. That lasted until this morning. Pretty much the most miserable few days of sickness I've ever had. The flu seems the be spreading like wildfire through Rome right now. Every other person I know seems to be getting over or getting it...

Doesn't answer your question but if the vaccine helps I say why not. I will definitely consider one next year.

Italianissima said...

I got my first flu shot last year when I was pregnant - only because Spy was due smack dab during cold and flu season. I won't get one this year but Spy has already gotten his as he will be going to daycare in Dec.

homebody at heart said...

I didn't get a flu shot for years because they always said there was a shortage of vaccine and that older people needed to get them because so many died from complications of the flu. But, I started getting them a few years ago and I will get the H1N1 shot as soon as I can. I figured out that I would be better off with more antibodies! And, the more I have as I age, the better off I will be. Don't worry about the side effects, unless you are allergic to eggs and your vaccine was incubated in an egg. If you do get sick, it will be because you were exposed prior to getting the shot. Evidently, it takes about 10 days to 2 weeks to get full protection.

Crystallyn said...

The only flu shot I ever had was several years ago and I was feeling PERFECT until 2 hours after I had the shot when I became sicker than ever had up until that point in my life. I was sick with a very intense flu for nearly two weeks. I won't get one again and thankfully my doctor acknowledges that some people ARE sensitive (I've had many practitioners tell me that I couldn't have gotten sick from the flu, but well, experience is the greatest teacher). So instead I just wash my hands a lot. I try not to touch railings or doors and I use my knuckle for things like ATM machines. And I carry around the alcohol stuff in case. I didn't do that before this year and the swine flu scare but since I've made the choice not to get one I figure it's better to be safe than sorry.

Also, eat right, bone up on extra vitamin D and C. I'm all for prevention!

Stephanie said...

Last year was the first time I'd ever gotten one and I'll get it again this year (seasonal; I don't think swine flu will be available for me). I've only caught the flu a few times in my life, but since I've started traveling through and living in undeveloped areas, I want the protection from everything possible. It's not always possible to eat right, wash hands as often as I'd like to, and avoid runny-nosed children. And the side effects are minimal compared to other vaccinations I've had to get.

And, what if I do get the flu but recover quickly? Most of the people around me don't have access to the vaccine They might get the flu and aren't as healthy to begin with. They might not be as fortunate as I am in their recovery. It's not just a personal issue, it's a public health issue.

michelle | bleeding espresso said...

I've never had one, and I think it might be precisely because my mom IS a nurse ;) She's not a fan based on her reactions/experiences (she's always had to get them, of course), and since we have such similar bodies/health issues, I'm a little worried to rock the boat so to speak. If I had kids, I'd probably get one though. Maybe. Not a fan of shots myself ;)

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Grazie to everyone who responded. I've been doing some research and I'm not in a high risk group.

That said, I'm still researching Swine Flu. There is a lot of confusing information out there.

gibber said...

H1N1 sis. Not swine slu, poor piggies. :)

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

gibber - I'm so confused.

gibber said...

that should say FLU, not slu :)

The official name of the virus is H1N1 virus. lazy reporters started calling it swine flu" and keep calling it that because...well, it's catchy! But we prefer the proper name!

Shannon said...

I don't believe in the flu shot. It seems people get them, then get sick. No me gusta. I'd rather just get sick naturally.

girasoli said...

I experienced my first bad case of the flu a few years ago. I started to get the flu shot after that even though I really hate needles. Worse yet, I have to put on my brave face as I get my shot while my preschoolers watch (we have flu shot day at our school).

I am still torn whether or not to get the H1N1 shot because it is so new, but figure I am toast if just one kid in my class gets it. I have mild asthma so I worry about the complications. Only half of my class have signed up for the shot.

This Time Now said...

Like Michael Jackson said "you are not alone, I am here with you" Ha!
Nope, have never had a flu shot, really don't see the need and I live in Korea, ok? Yes, 40 people have died here of it but it was not due to swine flu, these people had major health problems, some were overweight, had diabetes, and other major issues. The swine flu just came along and "topped them off". Sad but true. Here it is mandatory that all offices public and private and public spaces have hand sanitizers in plain view. The attitude here is kind of lax. Most people are not going to get the flu shot as there it is believed to do more harm than good. I know that it's better to be safe than sorry, but I nor any of my friends are running to the nearest hospital to get the shot. Wash your hands, keep your hands off of your face and keep truckin'.

Valerie said...

I am one of those who had to get them because I worked in a hospital (even though I didn't work directly with patients), and always got sick from the shot. After three straight years of that misery, I was able to convince my boss to let me opt out. There is never a guarantee that the vaccine will work, and there are side effects to be considered, too.