Flu shot, get sick

  1. Hi. I've been accepted into nursing school and they require the flu shot. The thing is that the last time I took it I got very sick. It was the worst feeling. I work and currently am taking classes. Dont really wanna go though getting sick again. Is there another way around this? Or an alternative?
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   MunoRN
    You don't get "sick" from the flu shot, when the flu shot does what it's supposed to do, you should experience an immune response to the vaccine, that's how it works. This is a self-limiting immune response and it isn't going to progress to the severity that an actual influenza illness can. Unless you ended up on V-V Ecmo which is what can often happen with the flu, you weren't "sick".
  4. by   meanmaryjean
    And to your point, there is no way around a mandatory immunization.
    That's why they are called "requirements", and just so you.are aware, you'll need one every year to continue to work in healthcare.
  5. by   chare
    The alternative? Don't attend nursing school. You'll likely find that your school is basing their requirement on what the clinical sites require.

    You'll also find that a growing number of facilities are requiring annual flu vaccination as a condition of continued employment. Further, many of these facilities are limiting religious and personal exemptions, and having epidemiology review all medical exemptions.
  6. by   elkpark
    What do you think are the chances you can "get around" a requirement of your school??

    As already noted, once you get through school and start working as a nurse, most healthcare employers will require (or at least "strongly encourage") annual flu shots. You might as well get used to doing it.

    You're going to get sick in nursing school anyway. Entering nursing school guarantees you will be exposed to a wide variety of major and minor "bugs" -- wait 'til you hit your pediatrics rotation!
    Last edit by elkpark on Nov 11
  7. by   Castiela
    I know there was a BON notice about a RN who was suspended and fired for reporting that he got the flu shot and then didn't. Not really sure how that came to fruition

    We have the option to wear a mask from Dec to march or get the flu shot
  8. by   RN-ing
    Ethical and religious exemptions to the vaccine exist, but usually you must submit it way in advance of the vaccination deadline and you have to have a legitimate reason to be exempt. Experiencing established side effects of the vaccine is not one of them.
    Plan to rest on the day you will get the vaccine. I sometimes experience side effects after getting the flu vaccine, so I make sure I get it when I can take a day off in case I feel bad. Tylenol or ibuprofen (if no personal contraindications exist) can help with side effects as well.
    Hope this helps!
  9. by   brandy1017
    Most jobs in healthcare are now requiring flu shots unless you can prove you already had guillain barre or anaphylaxis from a previous flu shot. The govt is spurring hospitals to go ahead and force everyone to get to over 90% of us vaccinated. Voluntary programs didn't work because many of us don't want the flu shot and know about the rare but serious side effect of guillain barre! It will be the rare place that doesn't force you to get the flu shot. Every hospital in my city requires it in order to work.
  10. by   elkpark
    Quote from brandy1017
    Most jobs in healthcare are now requiring flu shots unless you can prove you already had guillain barre or anaphylaxis from a previous flu shot. The govt is spurring hospitals to go ahead and force everyone to get to over 90% of us vaccinated. Voluntary programs didn't work because many of us don't want the flu shot and know about the rare but serious side effect of guillain barre! It will be the rare place that doesn't force you to get the flu shot. Every hospital in my city requires it in order to work.
    There was only one year that there was any connection between the flu shot and GBS -- that was 1976, and vaccine was the vaccine specifically developed for the swine flu that was a big problem that year. Every other year before and after 1976, there has been no connection between the flu shot and GBS -- people who have had the flu shot do occasionally develop GBS, but no more often than people who haven't had the flu shot. What does significantly increase your risk of GBS is having the flu. And yet people still kvetch about the flu shot and GBS.
  11. by   Kitiger
    Is it time for popcorn?

    I like the butter lover's type ...









    .
  12. by   ProperlySeasoned
    I am a person who has a significant immune response to influenza vaccination (this is a good thing, it means I am more likely to develop immunity). Here is how I mitigate the discomfort, while benefiting from the protection for myself and the herd.

    1. I get the shot when I am feeling well. If I am fighting a cold, or have a pulled muscle etc, I am going to be extra miserable with the aches and pains from the shot. This requires not waiting until the last minute.
    2. I use NSAIDS for the first few days, especially if I develop a low grade fever (happens about 50% of the time)
    3. I dress warm for about a week and put an extra blanket on the bed, knowing that I will be extra prone to chills
    4. I don't limit activity per se, but I would never plan a backpacking trip within a week of the shot
    5. I remind myself that even though I feel "flu like," influenza is a respiratory virus. Though symptoms are similar, I do not have a respiratory virus
    6. I note that the flu shot and the flu/cold season start at the same time. It is entirely possible that it is a coincidence that my symptoms of disease occurred around the same time as the shot.
    7. I acknowledge and respect the privilege that comes from living in a country where vaccines are available, cheap, and regulated.

    Hope this helps. And, for what it is worth, at my hospital you can refuse the influenza vaccine. And you then get to spend the next 6 months wearing a stylish mask all day.
  13. by   ElvishDNP
    I have friends who have had actual, documented severe reactions to the flu vaccine. Two. They (appropriately) won't be getting the vaccine anymore.

    Beyond that, better a little sick than a lot dead. Flu kills. It kills the very old/very young, but it also kills young healthy low-risk people as well. I understand not wanting to feel poorly for a while, but if that's all it is, congratulations! Your immune system is functioning exactly as it was meant to!
  14. by   wtbcrna
    Quote from brandy1017
    Most jobs in healthcare are now requiring flu shots unless you can prove you already had guillain barre or anaphylaxis from a previous flu shot. The govt is spurring hospitals to go ahead and force everyone to get to over 90% of us vaccinated. Voluntary programs didn't work because many of us don't want the flu shot and know about the rare but serious side effect of guillain barre! It will be the rare place that doesn't force you to get the flu shot. Every hospital in my city requires it in order to work.
    There has only been one flu shot that showed a very small increase in GBS related to getting the flu vaccine, and that was the swine flu vaccine in 1976. There hasn't ever been shown to be increased incidence of GBS before or since r/t the flu vaccine. You are much more likely to get GBS from getting infected with influenza then you ever will be from the flu vaccine.
    Guillain-Barre syndrome and Flu Vaccine | Seasonal Influenza (Flu) | CDC

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