Never get flu shots,well I did once and that was the year I was the sickest with a virus than I had ever been....tried to get a shot this year but the VA said I should not.
Vaccines only contain dead material from the virus, so they can't infect you. Your immune system kicks in to build antibodies against it and that is what makes you "feel" sick.. your body is not at 100%. The idea here is that if you get a shot and then right away (within a week or so) you get the flu, then it's because you already had the flu virus and your immune was getting hit by the vaccine too. Thus the double whammy. Either way, whatever the explanation, it happened to me also, and was quite ugly.
The influenza virus can go from humans to pigs to birds (ducks etc) and back. Usually between species it mutates or changes. Every 7 years or so there are significant changes, with major changes every 21 years. Another problem is there are many varieties and each year a few become dominant among humans. The CDC screens the dominate strains in the population and picks the top 3 to make the new vaccine each year (they're doing it for 2013 fall flu season as we speak). So a few years ago H1N1 was the biggie , now I think it's H2N5. Next year?? who knows? A minor flu outbreak like we have now can cost us about $20-25 billion in medical bills and lost business productivity. A major one even more ! So not only from a public health standpoint but just from the economics, you can see how important it is to keep this controlled. Your tax $ at work at CDC.
Where do they get their names? The H stands for hemagglutinin, and N - neuraminidase. These are 2 antigens (proteins) that are on the surface of the virus. Hemagglutinin causes RBCs to clump. Neuraminidase breaks down tissue chemicals and helps it to spread. The mutations constantly occur in these 2 antigens.
If you get vaccinated with H1N1, the antibodies you make will NOT protect you from H2N5 virus... this is why people should get a new shot each year... either the virus or the dominant strain changes and likely last years vaccine won't protect you if this happens (highly likely). IF you get vaccinated you make antibodies that attach to the H & N proteins and block attachment to your cells. IF the virus can't attach, they can't infect, and can't replicate to make you sick !
Historical fact: An estimated 20 million people died in the 5 years of WWI. In 1918 – 1919 there was a flu epidemic that killed 30-40 million people around the world. One of the largest pandemics in history. It rivaled the plague pandemics of the 1300s !! More people died of the flu those 2 years than in the 5 of WWI !!
BTW I love the drive through vaccination program (above).. gives new meaning to "drive by shotting" !!
I get one every year. I'm usually not a germ freak but last two times I went to the movie, before I left the theatre I went to the restroom and washed my hands really good before using my butt to open all the doors out and to my car. After going to my neighbors, I wash my hands cause she has two school age kids she has in and out.
I can hardly bear the thought of gut puking sickness stuff.
If there ever was a year to seriously consider getting the shot -- this is that year!!
I've gotten the flu shot the past couple years, and am glad I did. With grandkids going to daycare, and an elderly Mom I figure it's the least I can do to try to help prevent the spread of illness. I do not want to get sick.
I had outpatient surgery on my eyes yesterday and the whole flu thing was really on my mind. I seriously considered cancelling the surgery. The other thing that weighed heavy on my mind was Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Getting a little paranoid in my old age I guess........*G*.
They say if you get the shot your chance are about 62% that if you receive the flu it will be much weaker than not getting it.I have not gotten the shot either where I live you never really get the flu.
Never had the flu or a flu shot. Matter of fact, eons ago, I had to leave college for a few weeks to come home to take care of my parents & 2 siblings because they all had the Hong Kong flu. Never caught it myself.
I have not had a cold, sore throat or the sniffles since 1968. I don't fix what ain't broken......
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