Flu Shot: Does It Help You?

  1. This is my personal story about the flu shot. I'm wondering if other people have similar problems. Or if I'm just weird.

    I got the flu shot through my employer in October. I had an initial reaction, but it never got better in fact it's getting worse. I went to see my doctor yesterday and he said that it's possibly a reaction to the flu shot, or I got the flu anyway. My husband got the flu shot as well, and now he's down in bed with the flu, too.

    The last few years I've gotten the flu vax on a regular basis. But the last few years I've ended up with the flu anyhow. Last year it hit the week before my wedding, at the worst possible time. My husband got the flu vax, now he's sick and he's got a big project due. He, however, may be in time for Tamiflu, we'll see.

    Anyhow, I've done a lot of reading on the flu vax since it's all started and it's been rather interesting. Since they only can guess what types of flu will hit the U.S., they go on surveillance in Far East countries. Since they can only mix the dose for "guessed" strains and like last year and the year before, a major virus was left out and many people got sick despite the vax.

    I'm just wondering if anyone has had the same problem, or do you view the flu vax as unnecessary?
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  2. Poll: Do Receive Benefit from the Flu Shot?

    • Yes, it helps me.

      49.21% 31
    • No, I don't get the flu vax.

      31.75% 20
    • I get it and still seem to get sick.

      19.05% 12
    63 Votes
  3. 16 Comments

  4. by   Kwality
    I haven't received a flu shot since 1996, and it was because it was mandatory.
  5. by   MikeyBSN
    I won't get the flu vaccine, I don't get the flu and I don't feel I need it. I have heard a lot of horror stories about people who get the flu vaccine. I don't feel I need it and I don't like to get vaccines/drugs I don't need. Plus, I'd rather give my immune system excerise. My school tried to make my get a flu vaccine and I wouldn't let them give it to me. My doctor even said I didn't need it.
  6. by   traumaRUs
    I work in a busy ER and am constantly exposed to many nasty bugs. However, I do not feel that I need it. Its a personal decision and if I had a weakened immune system or some chronic disease process I would probably think differently.
  7. by   grinnurse
    I get the flu shot every year. So far since they have stopped giving the live virus I have not had the flu in years (knock on wood)!! I get it b/c I figure anything extra that I can do to protect myself against the bugs that you see in the hospital and community will be well worth it.
  8. by   BabyRN2Be
    Thank you all for your replies. Wow, it's interesting that a few people have shared my experience.

    This really solidifies my decision not to get one next year, and I'll try to build up my immune system in other ways.

    It's sort of funny that I've run into some people who lack a bit of knowledge regarding the flu shot. I've always heard that you could never get the flu from the shot, but I've heard now that this is different. You can get a mild case (beyond the initial reaction), but what I have is a little beyond mild.

    I also heard from a lab tech that he got the flu shot several years ago and he thought that since you got one time vaccinations as a kid, that the flu shot worked the same way - once you got it you didn't need it again. He didn't seem to understand that the flu vax is different every year.

    This has been an interesting experience and I've done more research on it after this bout... something that I should have done before and not just listened to management say "Flu shots are in. We want you to be healthy this year, not take any sick leave so go get one!"

    Not getting one next year for me. Thank you again everyone!
  9. by   deanaRN
    They are mandatory in most hospitals & nursing homes here. Within 6 hours of getting one I get sick. EVERY.TIME. I think it should be my choice. I can get over the regular flu shortly. After taking the flu shot I am generally sick for 2-3 weeks.
  10. by   gypsyatheart
    I don't get the flu shot. I got one over 10 yrs ago and had a horrible reaction. Haven't gotten it since!
  11. by   Thunderwolf
    I don't get them either. My patients innoculate me daily
  12. by   CrunchRN
    I get it every year. I have never had a reaction to it. I have not had the flu for 12 years. I did miss one time 12 years ago and got the flu. It was horrible and I am no wimp and very healthy. Because I tolerate it just fine I do prefer to get it in the hopes of avoiding the flu in the future. If it made me sick then I would not take it. The old live virus did make me somewhat ill, but the moder stuff is great for me. My husband also takes it every year and does great.
  13. by   rehab nurse
    i always got a flu shot after i became a nurse, but i always ended up sick anyways. every year i get flu/pneumonia at least once.
    i had the flu vac last year and had a horrible reaction, was ill for weeks. my whole arm around the injection site swelled 3X the size, i couldn't move it. i am allergic to more and more things every year. so i am unable to get either the injection or the flu mist (since i have such severe asthma). my doc said, when you get ill, we'll take care of things right away and try to make it a little easier.
    for now, i am meticulously taking my vitamins, and washing my hands. in fact, the water was turned off thurs and fri at work due to some problems, and the staff is cleaning their hands with wipes and alcohol gel. i had to get a note to be off, because i am allergic to the alcohol gel that my facility uses, and there is no way i am working without being able to wash my hands....yuck!
    my s/o just got the vac two days ago, and now is very ill. i know the literature states it's probably d/t an illness already present, but i don't buy it.
  14. by   DutchgirlRN
    I've taken the flu shot for the past 4 years that I've been back in the hospital. I am exposed to many cases of the flu. I'm not worried for myself but I have elderly parents who I don't want to chance infecting with the flu. I know doctors suggest children and babies get the flu vaccine. I think that's ridiculous unless the child is immunocompromised in some way. My daughters OB/GYN wanted her to get one while she was pregnant. That's bologna in my opinion. I've never had a reaction to the flu shot. I hear it's impossible since it is now made from a killed virus. But who knows?
  15. by   CseMgr1
    I took a flu shot a week ago today and wound up in the bed ALL day long 48 hours later with a fever of 101 degrees and my body feeling as if it were being beaten with a baseball bat. I haven't felt right since, and I am not sure if I am ever going to take another one, after this.

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