I went against all my initial outrage against the mandatory flu shots, and I got the seasonal live vaccine (nasal spray on Tuesday). This left me with a sore throat and runny nose, and very fatigued for 3-4 days. I understand these are within normal limits for the 10% of the population that is supposed to experience side effects. On Friday, I came back to work, and the H1N1 vaccine had just hit our floors. Only 300 doses were available and they were going fast. We had to decide on the spot, and I decided to get the shot.
The shot didn't hurt, though I began to ache as the evening wore on. I was scheduled to work the weekend, and our managers throw a fit if anyone calls out, so I didn't even think about it. I woke up with a strong cough, and a bronchitis-like feeling of inflammation in my lungs, plus I was coughing up yellow stuff. Also there was a severe headache and body aches. That's all, but enough to make one miserable through a 12 hour shift in the ICU/CCU. I could tell that my patient care definitely suffered, as I did not have time for any of the extras. So on Sunday (today) I called out, let the chips fall where they may.
I am still in bed as I write this; the aches are mostly gone, but I definitely have bronchitis and will need to stay in for a few days (I tend toward repeat bronchitis with any cold or infection, though I am rarely ill).
This seems to me a very severe side effect grouping from a shot that is supposed to prevent the flu. Why then, did I get the first flu vaccines of my life, shots I have spoken out against on this forum, without fighting administration?
The answer is what I have seen hit our floors in the past few weeks. Young people in their 30s and 40s are dying of ARDS and necrotizing, mysterious pneumonias, and all of them started with H1N1-like symptoms. These people are very sick and though they have co-morbidities, it is highly unusual to see people like them, without a history of chronic hospitalizations, become so ill, while being so young. We have lost a few already. Others are still fighting for their lives. And it's only October. The probability of being exposed to it in my line of work is very high. And we don't know if the virus will change in any way during the winter. If it did, I imagine those who got the shot would still have partial immunity, just as those in 1918 who got the spring flu never came down with the deadly winter version.
More importantly, I don't want to be the one responsible for giving a patient this virus and then watch them deteriorate.
So is the vaccine safe? Probably, though not exactly harmless. From those who I've talked to, it seems like the percentage of side effects is closer to 30 than 10. And my personal opinion is that those who have reactions are more likely to be those who, like me, and some of our foreign residents, have 1. never had the flu vaccine and 2. were raised on a diet and in an environment relatively free of additives and chemicals. So our reactions are stronger. Of course I have absolutely no research to back this up with.
Sounds like what has been going around on our floor. No fever but cough and yellow junk-and no sore throat? I got the flumist and the seasonal shot Fri. Was achy that night and low grade temp-but it was my body's immune response kicking in I believe-not the flu. My blood was applying for some immune boosters from me bones or whatnots!
Last edit by RedWeasel on Oct 27, '09
: Reason: wordy