Is it selfish not to get a Flu Shot? - page 2

I've never gotten the flu shot, mainly because I've only had the flu once. On another BB at school (maybe she reads this bb too!) I was told that I may have gotten the virus, brushed it off... Read More

  1. by   llg
    Quote from jacob1
    Our hospital is giving us the flu shots also but i dont know if i should get it, i didnt last year and did not get sick.....but i do have a 4yr old and i dont want him to catch it, but i hear you get sick with the shot anyway?.?.? I dont know??
    Of course, some people who get the shot get sick anyway. Few if any prevention methods are 100% effective. The vacine decreases your chance of getting the flu and may lessen the severity of the illness should you get it. However, getting the shot does not guarantee that you will not get the flu.

    To me, it still seems worth the minor inconvenience and expense. I wouldn't want to spread the virus throughout my community while I was in the process of coming down with it. Let's face it ... there is almost always a little time while we are coming down with something that we are out among other people and could be spreading. None of us isolates ourselves the exact moment we become contagious.

    My father was my town's only physician and I am more used to thinking of it terms of a "community health" issue than in terms of just my health personnally.

    Finally, last year was the first time in a long time that I did not get a flu shot. I got the worst respiratory infection of my life. I'll be getting one this year as usual.

    llg
    Last edit by llg on Oct 10, '05
  2. by   MamaTheNurse
    I never ever had a flu shot and never got sick ever since I had been a nurse - because I had been out of the hospital setting for 1 1/2 yrs, I got one in 2003 for the first time ever in my career - I lost count of how many times I got vicious colds and had the flu twice that winter - didn't know if I should blame the flu shot or being back in the hospital - need the job and can't leave the hospital so I left out the flu shot last year - well, what do you know, I got the sniffles for a day once or twice but no bad colds and definitely no flu.................I am, however, fanatical about handwashing..............

    not getting one this year..........I told one of our Infectious Disease docs that - he said, "Well, you're a big girl but if I find out you were sick and in contact with one of my patients, there will be (H-E-double hockey sticks) to pay!" - fair enough..............

    I'm donating mine to some little old lady..............
    Last edit by MamaTheNurse on Oct 10, '05
  3. by   prmenrs
    I get a shot every year b/o of my age, and because I tend to get an asthma thing going whenever I get any resp virus. All the personnel in the NICU were supposed to get flu shots-yes, mandatory-to keep the kids, who are considered immunocompromised pts, from getting sick.

    When we send kids home in the winter, we assess whether they need to be on the Synergis program for the winter months. We also recommend that all the family members get flu shots that year.

    CDC watches the flu situation throughout the year. Sometime in the spring they make an "educated guess" of what strains of flu to include in this year's vaccine based on what has happened globally. The virus has an evolution all it's own, mutating at will. The guess could turn out to be totally wrong, but it's a little like forecasting the weather--a lot of times, they are right on the money. The vaccine manufacturers need 5-6 months to create the vaccine and release it in October before the flu season starts. That's why CDC has to make a guess in spring.

    'Herd Immunity' is a public health term that means that the more people in the "herd" who are protected against a communicable disease, the less disease you will see in the community, even among the non-protected group.

    It makes sense for health care workers to get vaccinated because we all work w/compromised pts. Also, because, if there is an epidemic that season and an increase in admissions to the hospital, staffing needs to bee there to take care of the pts.

    Even tho it might be a minor illness to most otherwise healthy adults, it can be very virulent in the compromised pts-can, in fact, be the final straw. And, it can turn out to be deadly even to young, healthy adults. The pandemic of 1918 was devastating amongst that group. Young men got home from the war in one piece, then died from the flu.

    I guess what I'm trying to say, in a million words or more, is to take care of yourself by getting a flu shot so that you can be alive and healthy and work your tail off this winter.
  4. by   Tweety
    Thanks for your input. I was primarily wondering getting sick with the flu and not having symptoms.

    I have no compelling reason not to get the flu shot, other than I rarely get the flu. But I did have flu like symptoms last year. I appreciate the food for thought.
  5. by   MarySunshine
    Tweety, I think this is a great question and I have wondered the same thing myself.
  6. by   steelcityrn
    If I can get my hands on some vaccine, I for sure will take it. I have already seen two patients with confirmed flu virus and its only October!
  7. by   MedicalZebra
    I'm a dialysis patient (13 years so far), and I got the flu shot for the first 10 years. Result: Sick as a dog for a week after the shot. I have declined the flu shot for the last 3 years and have not gotten the flu.

    Here's my question: In our unit, nurses and techs are required to get the flu shot, yet every year, it's the nurses who end up coming to work with the FLU!If these flu shots are so effective, how come it's the staff who get the shots who always get the flu?
  8. by   Question
    Quote from MedicalZebra
    I'm a dialysis patient (13 years so far), and I got the flu shot for the first 10 years. Result: Sick as a dog for a week after the shot. I have declined the flu shot for the last 3 years and have not gotten the flu.

    Here's my question: In our unit, nurses and techs are required to get the flu shot, yet every year, it's the nurses who end up coming to work with the FLU!If these flu shots are so effective, how come it's the staff who get the shots who always get the flu?
    I have watched the same thing happen with family members.

    I am not a nurse yet but I have not had any vaccine in the last 20 years and I will never take the flu shot unless I absolutely have too. I rarely get sick but I eat healty, exercise, and do not keep myself locked indoors.

    I know that I will have to be updated on tetanus before clinicals because I have never had one before. We had the option not to take the Hep B and I opted out. I think the vaccine issue is very a touchy with so much bias on both sides of the issue. When I go to get updates I will make sure that I ask for ones that are preservative free especially Thimersol, which contains 49.5% ethyl mercury, a known neurotoxin. It is sad that it took people standing up aganist the mercury for the companies to remove a dangerous component.

    Of course the above statement is strictly my opinion.
    Last edit by Question on Oct 11, '05
  9. by   neneRN
    You know, they tell you its not a live virus and you can't get sick from the shot, and that may be very well true, but as others have posted, I NEVER get sick, and the one and only time I did get the flu shot, I really did end up getting very sick. I have heard the same anecdotal stories from too many nurses to believe there's nothing to it. Very few of the nurses I work with will take the shot ( but then again, we're exposed to so much in the ER that I think the built up immunity theory holds up, LOL)
  10. by   z's playa
    I guess I' m the only one who does think it's selfish. If I know I have a huge chance of getting the flu....because it is flu season ......(and just because I don't get it very often......who's to say this won't be the year I get a bad strain, right? )....and I worked with the vulnerable sector who are in danger of dying from complications of the flu....then for me to endanger them just because I don't believe in the shot for whatever reason is selfish. We have to PROVE we got the flu shot or we can't attend clinicals or wrok in the hospital. This goes for everyone in the hospital.

    And this ladies and gents,,,is my opinion.

    Z
  11. by   llg
    Quote from MedicalZebra
    I'm a dialysis patient (13 years so far), and I got the flu shot for the first 10 years. Result: Sick as a dog for a week after the shot. I have declined the flu shot for the last 3 years and have not gotten the flu.

    Here's my question: In our unit, nurses and techs are required to get the flu shot, yet every year, it's the nurses who end up coming to work with the FLU!If these flu shots are so effective, how come it's the staff who get the shots who always get the flu?
    Maybe the reason they get the flu shot is because they tend to be vulnerable to it. It is faulty logic to assume that the flu shot caused them to get the flu. (-- not that you actually said that it did.) Maybe, if they didn't get the shot, they would be getting more severe cases.

    llg
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I do not think it is selfish to defer from getting a shot. I do think it is selfish to bring it to work or have to make others endure numerous call-outs because one is always sick. That gets to me more than anything else. The rest of us who stay healthy (or reasonably so) are then expected to take up the slack. THAT really sticks in my caw.
  13. by   RoxanRN
    Quote from llg
    Maybe the reason they get the flu shot is because they tend to be vulnerable to it. It is faulty logic to assume that the flu shot caused them to get the flu. (-- not that you actually said that it did.) Maybe, if they didn't get the shot, they would be getting more severe cases.

    llg
    I don't think it was coincidence that my dad got the flu every year (he was a very active middle aged farmer) until he STOPPED taking the flu shot (is still farming). Since then, he might only get some minor sniffles each winter (which he'd get even with the shot).

    BTW... anyone can have my flu shot if they want it. Have never had one and don't plan to anytime in the future.

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