What is your opinion on getting the flu shot?

  1. Hi, I have gotten the flu shot every year for the past seven years I have been a nurse. I have decided that I have heard enough to convince me to not take it from now on. It is not mandatory at my facility but they push it very strongly. In other words, I have to think of a very good excuse for not taking it. I want to hear your thoughts and opinions on this and what I should do. Thanks!
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  2. Poll: Do you want the flu shot?

    • Yes

      48.57% 17
    • No

      48.57% 17
    • Not sure

      2.86% 1
    35 Votes
  3. 112 Comments

  4. by   malamud69
    Get it! What "evidence" do you have not to?
  5. by   RN&mom
    I have a special needs son who looks like a typical kid but can't vomit, doesn't regulate his body temperature correctly and has to have stress dosing of cortisone when sick or injured. He has other issues but you get the idea... He is considered very high risk and my entire family has been told to always get the flu shot. Do I have evidence this will help him? No. But I could not live with myself if he got the flu and something happened... I think of my pts the same way. You never know when a high risk pt or their family member will be in your care. I'm not judging you for your decision, I'm just giving you the perspective of someone on both sides, a nurse and a mom trying to protect her child...
  6. by   Surg-OncRN
    Hi, thanks for your response. For one the evidence that it actually prevents the flu is very very weak. This is backed up by studies that are not well publicized. Also, all of these have mercury in them which is a well known toxin/carcinogen.
  7. by   ICUNurseStat
    Single dose vials of the vaccine do not contain the mercury based preservative. Neither does the nasal mist.
  8. by   Hex
    Quote from Surg-OncRN
    Hi, thanks for your response. For one the evidence that it actually prevents the flu is very very weak. This is backed up by studies that are not well publicized. Also, all of these have mercury in them which is a well known toxin/carcinogen.
    Sources, please.
  9. by   Spidey's mom
    The evidence for the safety of the flu vaccine is sufficient for me. Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative and is NOT in single-dose vials or in any vaccine for children. The statement that "all of these have mercury in them" is simply not true.

    I got my flu shot today. Yesterday my 12 year old son got Flu Mist.
  10. by   VivaLasViejas
    I get a flu shot every year. Not just to protect myself (I'm over 50 and at high risk d/t diabetes and asthma) but to protect my patients/residents and the rest of my family.

    As far as whether it's effective or not, well....I haven't had the flu since 1992.
  11. by   Spidey's mom
  12. by   ElvishDNP
    I get it and will continue to do so. For starters, I don't like the flu. We know the vax doesn't protect against 100% of flu strains in 100% of people, but 60% protection is better than 0% protection (what you'd get without it). While there are certainly other things one can (and should) do to boost one's immune system, I'm not aware of anything besides vaccines that will produce immunity against a specific strain of illness on such a large scale. Second, I work with pregnant women as well as neonates - both high-risk populations - and I would like them to be protected. Neonates can't get the flu vax. Third, I have a limited number of call-outs I can make per year....I don't want to use them for flu; whatever I can do to avoid it, I'll do. I wash my hands frequently for the same reason.

    Have seen many children very ill with flu - struggling to breathe and scared deer-in-headlights look on their little faces. Don't care to see it again. My stepfather lived through the 1918 flu pandemic (and obviously the ones since as well)...he gets his flu shot every year. He tells stories that give me chills.

    No one but you can make the choice as to whether to get the flu shot except you, but do make sure your information is grounded in good science.
  13. by   studentbear
    Quote from Spidey's mom
    The evidence for the safety of the flu vaccine is sufficient for me. Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative and is NOT in single-dose vials or in any vaccine for children. The statement that "all of these have mercury in them" is simply not true.

    I got my flu shot today. Yesterday my 12 year old son got Flu Mist.
    What are your sources for Thimerosal not being in any vaccine for children?
  14. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from emyaj
    What are your sources for Thimerosal not being in any vaccine for children?
    What is thimerosal? Is it the same as mercury?
    Thimerosal is a compound that contains mercury. Mercury is a metal found naturally in the environment.
    Why is thimerosal used in some vaccines?
    Because it prevents the growth of dangerous microbes, thimerosal is used as a preservative in multi-dose vials of flu vaccines, and in two other childhood vaccines, it is used in the manufacturing process. When each new needle is inserted into the multi-dose vial, it is possible for microbes to get into the vial. The preservative, thimerosal, prevents contamination in the multi-dose vial when individual doses are drawn from it. Receiving a vaccine contaminated with bacteria can be deadly.
    For two childhood vaccines, thimerosal is used to prevent the growth of microbes during the manufacturing process. When thimerosal is used this way, it is removed later in the process. Only trace (very tiny) amounts remain. The only childhood vaccines today that have trace amounts of thimerosal are one DTaP and one DTaP-Hib combination vaccine.

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/pati...-bw-office.pdf



    Thimerosal in Vaccines

    In January 1928, in the early stages of an immunization campaign against diphtheria, Dr. Ewing George Thomson, Medical Officer of Health of Bundaberg, began the injection of children with toxin-antitoxin mixture. The material was taken from an India-rubber-capped bottle containing 10 mL of TAM. On the 17th, 20th, 21, and 24th January, Dr. Thomson injected subcutaneously a total of 21 children without ill effect. On the 27th a further 21 children were injected.Of these children .eleven died on the 28th and one on the 29th. (Wilson 1967)
    This disaster was investigated by a Royal Commission and the final sentence in the summary of their findings reads as follows:
    The consideration of all possible evidence concerning the deaths at Bundeberg points to the injection of living staphylococci as the cause of the fatalities.
    Thimerosal has been removed from or reduced to trace amounts in all vaccines routinely recommended for children 6 years of age and younger, with the exception of inactivated influenza vaccine (see Table 1). A preservative-free version of the inactivated influenza vaccine (contains trace amounts of thimerosal) is available in limited supply at this time for use in infants, children and pregnant women. Some vaccines such as Td, which is indicated for older children (≥ 7 years of age) and adults, are also now available in formulations that are free of thimerosal or contain only trace amounts. Vaccines with trace amounts of thimerosal contain 1 microgram or less of mercury per dose
    The various mercury guidelines are based on epidemiological and laboratory studies of methyl mercury, whereas thimerosal is a derivative of ethyl mercury.
  15. by   cardiacfreak
    I've been in the medical field for 20+ years, I've never received the vaccine and have never had the flu. Maybe I have a great immune system, even when my kids would get the flu I never got it or maybe it's because I'm OCD about hand hygiene.

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