Flu shot controversy

  1. So, all being healthcare professionals, we are all urged (if not required) to be vaccinated for the flu annually. I completely understand why. I know there is some controversy about flu vaccines and their safety as well though. I know that people just think, well I wanna keep my patients safe, so i'm getting one, without thinking about the possible side effects, if they really do exist. Not saying that I disagree with it, because that's not the case at all, vaccines can really be a good thing, have been proved to have helped millions of people throughout the years.

    As far as the controversy goes, I have found multiple sites explaining about the mercury and aluminum content in these vaccines. Some say it's minimal, others say since mercury is so toxic, it's a bad amount. Also same goes with aluminum. Both which have potential to cause neurological problems. I have read MANY studies which show that If you more than 5 consecutive flu vaccines, you have a HUGE increase in chance of developing alzheimers later in life. Thing is, these vaccines are tested and deemed safe right now, but how do you measure side effects 20 years down the road right now? you cant. 5 consecutive vaccines isn't really much considering how much longer I have to be a nurse, like 20 more years!

    The flu vaccine also contains polysorbate 80, which has been known to cause reproductive problems, and cancer. How is it safe for us to have things like this being injected into our body? Plus it only protects against certain strains predicted to show up. I know physicians who refuse to take the shot! Obviously there's got to be a reason. I have seen at least 3 or 4 patients in my few years of nursing, that have had gullian-barre, have no idea how they ended up with it. The only correlation is that they had received their flu shot just before that.

    As far as the swine flu shot, I guess this year it seems to be somewhat of a combo vaccine from what I understand. Safety once again, is tested for now, but what about 20, 30, even 50 years down the road, will there be residual effects? What about the swine flu outbreak back in the 70's that everyone got vaccinated for back then, there were a lot of residual effects from that shot, which at the time was deemed as safe.

    I'm not trying to say flu shots are bad, I see why they can be important. And I know that people get them to keep their patients safe, completely understand. But i care about what I am injecting in my body to do so. I wanna keep myself healthy too, and the substances in the vaccine just don't seem very healthy.

    I guess what I am looking for here, is others opinions on this. Your thoughts on whether or not you feel it's safe, and why. Or contrary, why you feel it's not safe. I understand it's potential benefits, but also see a lot of negative things as well. Just wanting to see every aspect
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  3. by   canoehead
    I don't get it at work because my healthcare needs to remain private. It's none of anyone else's business.

    I don't use the flu shot because it is made up new every year, and the company making it has an agreement that they cannot be sued for errors. (Read that on this site last year)

    I also believe that eventually there is going to be a big health problem, and I don't want to get caught in the mess. One year they used live virus instead of killed. (Read that on this site last year) Any drug that gets changed every year, and doesn't get tested is like rolling the dice, statistically speaking.

    As health professionals we get the first vaccinations in the country. We also get to be the guinea pigs for it. If there are going to be reactions or problems it will happen to us.

    Yes, I've gotten the flu, and I'm perfectly happy to stay home and be sick for a few days. Around February a good fever, hot tea, and bed sounds welcoming to me. I'd rather get the flu and have naturally acquired immunity than worry about problems from the vaccine.

    No, I don't feel a responsibility to get vaccinated because I'm a role model, or to protect my patients. I'm enough of a role model when I bathe every day and cover my mouth when I cough- I don't want to overwhelm my patient population with all my good habits. Besides, they(patients, visitors and administration) don't feel bad about putting my health at risk, I'm definitely not planning on doing something I consider dangerous just to make the stats better.
  4. by   OttawaRPN
    Remember Thalidomide, or otherwise know as "one of the biggest medical tragedies of modern times."
  5. by   netglow
    Just got mine, I don't over think it. I don't do it for my patients really, I do it so I don't have to get really sick hopefully and need to call off. Calling in sick is very much frowned upon. For me, it's more something to help job security a bit.
  6. by   iteachob
    I get one every year. I'm more concerned about the flu and it's well-known risks than the supposed risks that one hears about. 20, 30, 40 years down the road...if I have some kind of neuro effect will I link it to my previous flu shots? Doubtful. I'll more likely attribute it to something else.

    About the Alzheimer's link....see Myth #6 at this link at the Alzheimers Association website
  7. by   iteachob
    Quote from OttawaRPN
    Remember Thalidomide, or otherwise know as "one of the biggest medical tragedies of modern times."
    Yes, ....but Thalidomide was never approved by the FDA for use in the USA at that time (late 50's early 60's), and we did not see the birth defects seen in England and other countries. The FDA does approve flu shots.
  8. by   blondy2061h
    Quote from OttawaRPN
    Remember Thalidomide, or otherwise know as "one of the biggest medical tragedies of modern times."
    And still used, and saving lives.
  9. by   iteachob
    Quote from blondy2061h
    And still used, and saving lives.
    True, now that we know who not to give it to!!
  10. by   blondy2061h
    Quote from iteachob
    True, now that we know who not to give it to!!
    Exactly. Giving a drug within the studies and approved parameters is very different from willy-nilly giving a drug we think helps with morning sickness. With all drugs, there's risks and benefits. Every time a drug is prescribed that needs to be thought about. I'm always amazed that the same people that refuse flu shots are often the first ones asking for Tamiflu or a z-pak for their runny nose.
  11. by   blondy2061h
    This article is probably one of the funniest, but most logical pieces I've seen about the flu shot.
  12. by   MissJulie
    I got my flu shot a couple of weeks ago, and I get one every year. I'm with the others, getting the shot and not getting the flu itself just seems better to me. Now, with the idea that the shots could possibly be connected to cancer, etc. down the line is sort of like the fact that it's been theorized since the 1970s that artificial sweetners can cause cancer. Yes, I'm writing this as a drink a Dt. Moutain Dew!
  13. by   notjustanurse
    Doesn't everything cause cancer?
  14. by   holly123
    theres more mercury in a tuna sandwhich...i always get mine