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Flu shots

Specializes in Gen Surg, Peds, family med, geriatrics. Has 26 years experience.

I just did two days of flu shot clinics run by the local health department. I figure I shot between 120 to 150 arms (and one leg) those two days. The turnout was okay, but it could have been better. Our provincial government is making the flu shot available to everyone this year, not just the high risks. So there's a real push to get people immunized. Problem is, not many people are going for it. Last year there was a study that showed that only about 30% of health care professionals in the local hospitals were immunized against the flu. That's pretty dismal statistics and they are hoping to improve it. At work (I work in a pediatrician's office) I called all of our high risk patients (about 200 of them)and invited them to come to the office for the flu shots. Just under half have taken advantage of it. My next step is to nab our primaries.

What's happening in your neck of the woods? Are they immunizing against the flu there yet? Is there a push to have it done? Have you had yours yet? (I have, three weeks ago)

I think this is a very important nursing issue. What are your feelings on the flu shot?

Laura cool.gif

laurasc

Specializes in Gen Surg, Peds, family med, geriatrics. Has 26 years experience.

I heard about the shortage of flu vaccines in the States. It's not the case here in Canada. They're really pushing the flu vaccine here. In fact, the last flu clinic I participated in was in a senior's recreation centre and I even managed to nab some of the staff for flu shots.

Yes, we do offer the pneumonia vaccine here, but I believe it's different from what is available in the US. Here it's called the pnuemococal vaccine and it's a "once in a lifetime" thing. There's no need to reimmunize.

Laura cool.gif

Originally posted by ceworden:

Hello Fellow Nurse,

Here in the USA we have just gotten the Flu Vaccine and they are requesting that only the "high risk" individuals have theirs first due to a shortage. I am not working at the present time due to an injury I suffered while working. However, when I was working it was a requirement to have the vaccine and if you chose not to have it you had to sign a statement declaring so and it was put in your Health Folder.

Last year when the flu vaccine was available early, my Mom's Doctor had her wait until November to have one. His reason for this is the Flu Vaccine is only good for apox. 3 months and if she had gotten her shot in October it would not have carried her through the actual flu season.

I have a question for you. Do you provide the pnuemonia vaccine? Here is the USA it is requested that all individuals have one every 10 years and that the "high risk" individuals have a booster in 5 years.

I have not gotten my flu vaccine yet due to the shortage and I am not considered "high risk", therefore I am waiting to recieve mine. Even though I am not currently working I do Volunteer Work in our local Nursing Homes and Hospitals. So I continue to get mine every year so that I do not take the chance on exposing the patients to the Flu.

I think it is each individual Nurse's choice as to what they want to do. There are some individuals that are unable to take the vaccine for various reasons.

Hope I helped in answering some of your questions.

MNM---A Step for Our Future

[This message has been edited by laurasc (edited October 27, 2000).]

Originally posted by laurasc:

I heard about the shortage of flu vaccines in the States.

Laura

The flu vaccine shortage must be quite accute in the US. The place where I usually get mine had a sign up saying they had none and did not know when they would be getting any. The LTC facillity at which I am employed has not even started giving their residents shots yet and they are usually done by now. My mom just called to say that she went to her senior center for her shot and they only had 100 doses for the 200 people that showed up, which means 50% of the people went home without them. COULD BE A DIFFICULT FLU SEASON!

The hospital I work at offers all employees the flu shot every year for free. I think this is terriffic, but knowing of the shortage in the US right now, I was surprised today to find out that they are offering it again this year. Makes me think that maybe I will pass on it this years because I am not high risk. What do you think, should I get it? I just feel like I wouldn't want to take the shot if it can be used by someone who could really use it.

[This message has been edited by JillR (edited October 27, 2000).]

Hello Fellow Nurse,

Here in the USA we have just gotten the Flu Vaccine and they are requesting that only the "high risk" individuals have theirs first due to a shortage. I am not working at the present time due to an injury I suffered while working. However, when I was working it was a requirement to have the vaccine and if you chose not to have it you had to sign a statement declaring so and it was put in your Health Folder.

Last year when the flu vaccine was available early, my Mom's Doctor had her wait until November to have one. His reason for this is the Flu Vaccine is only good for apox. 3 months and if she had gotten her shot in October it would not have carried her through the actual flu season.

I have a question for you. Do you provide the pnuemonia vaccine? Here is the USA it is requested that all individuals have one every 10 years and that the "high risk" individuals have a booster in 5 years.

I have not gotten my flu vaccine yet due to the shortage and I am not considered "high risk", therefore I am waiting to recieve mine. Even though I am not currently working I do Volunteer Work in our local Nursing Homes and Hospitals. So I continue to get mine every year so that I do not take the chance on exposing the patients to the Flu.

I think it is each individual Nurse's choice as to what they want to do. There are some individuals that are unable to take the vaccine for various reasons.

Hope I helped in answering some of your questions.

MNM---A Step for Our Future

------------------

CEWorden, LPN

Proud to be a Nurse

All of the flu shot clinics here have been canceled. Two weeks ago I was supposed to start at the clinics when the agency I work for called and said that the shots we not going to be available until late November, leaving the last of the shots to be given in late December or early January.

We still have not gotten our vaccine supply yet either. For those of you in healthcare settings: Get your vaccine, even if you do not consider yourself high risk. Two years ago, the transitional care unit where I work had a "mini-epidemic" where all but one of the patients got ill and we paid 21 nurses for their off time because they all got sick. This could have been prevented with vaccine!!! Get it if you can!!!

I had my flu shot yesterday. My arm is still feeling it. I don't think that the right information is out there. There are still so many people afraid to take the flu shot. I work in two critical care areas and feel without it, I would be sick miss work or worse not be able to care for my children if I was to get the flu shot. I know a lot of companies are offering it to their employees, but it isn't just offered to everyone free. Some place have what they call a flu shot clinic, where the can get the shot for a cheap price. My mother had hers for free and my dad had to pay a couple of dollars because he is under 65. My best friend is terrified of the shot though, she is a nurse and says she doesn't want to be sick. she doesn't work in the emergency room though.

I recieved my flu shot the other day. We finally go them in. It was funny because i was very busy and we need to go to the Er to get them and the Supervisor took a head count and came back with enough pre-filled syringes to go around. She really doesn't take no for an anwer. Thanks for the advise about whether or not I sould get the shot.

Jill

Jenny P

Specializes in CV-ICU.

I hadn't heard about a flu vaccine shortage here. My hospital workplace has offered it to ALL employees for free (I got mine a week ago) and our health care clinic is offering it for free for members. The hospital feels that unvaccinated nurses can expose patients to the flu and cause nosocomial flu infections, so its important that we get them. My husband has M.S. and is immunosupressed; his doctors feel it is very important that we (the family) have the vaccine every year to reduce his chance of getting it from us. Interestingly, his doctors could not agree for the first few years if he should have the flu shot or not; his neurologist didn't want him to have it, but his Internist thought he should have it. We finally consulted with both an Infectious disease doc and a Pharm. D. and they both felt that his having the flu vaccine was the prudent thing to do.

Every year the community hospital I work in offers the flu shot free to all employees. (as well as hepatitis and others)Our employee health nurse usually comes around on the off shifts and offers them to us. It is not mandatory but highly recommended. So far no one has come around yet. There is a shortage around here and even people who have had appointments with their primary MDs have been called with cancellations because they ran out out of the vaccine. We're still supposed to get them but who knows when.

I have a Question about the Flu jab it seems that everyone that has the jab then gets the Flu after they have had the jab, Why is that? I have heard that you are injected with the Flu virus is that true? And that after you have had the jab that is the reason that you get the flu, also it seems to be worse the flu that you get AFTER you have been injected. Also I am a Carer to old people should I ask about getting the jab. It said in my Nursing Times a magazine I get every 2 weeks that health Professionals should get the jab? Is this right. I am also wary of getting the jab as I have a FEAR of NEEDLES, believe it or not. But its true.

The flu shot is made with a killed virus, so you CANNOT get the flu from it. However, you can have side effects from it. I received a flu shot last week and it was the first one I ever had. They say that if you have never had the flu shot before, or have not been exposed to the flu before, your risk for side effects is greater. This is because your body has not had to fight off this virus before so now it has to work extra hard to build up your immunity. The shot knocked me out the day I had it. I was exhausted, achy, and generally felt lousy. The next day I felt fine, except for a sore arm. Will I do it again next year? Yes, because the side effects from the shot were not nearly as bad as actually getting the flu. Hope this helps!

SharonH, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Geriatrics. Has 20 years experience.

I just spent two days giving flu shots for a local agency here. First of all, there is a shortage of vaccine so that limits how much we can give. However Atlanta must be unique because these people are going bonkers for flu shots! We had enough for 100 people the first day and we gave all of it in about 21/2 hours. The next day we had enough for 120 people and gave it in 21/2 hours. Both days the lines were out of the door, people were coming in 1 hour before the clinic was to start and they went nuts when we ran out! I'm not doing the clinics next year.

P_RN, ADN, RN

Specializes in ORTHOPAEDICS-CERTIFIED SINCE 89. Has 30 years experience.

http://web.thestate.com/content/columbia/2001/11/07/opcolumn/kleinberg_web07.htm

This editorial was in our newspaper last Wed. It seems it's not so much a shortage as a distribution problem. (Sounds like Nursing doesn't it?)

Back in '96 I didn't take the flu shot. I was going on vacation and didn't want to get sick from it......well my last day was Oct. 10th and we went on our trip.

Well to make a long story short........I caught the flu, it turned into mycoplasma pneumonia, that caused pulmonary fibrosis, I had to have 10 xrays, 2 PFTs, and 7 weeks out....I survived and went back to work Jan 2.

I NEVER missed another flu shot. I'm getting mine Monday.

Hi - I'm in Nashville, TN and we have the shots here, but right now it's supposed to be for the high risk people. Which is starting to include me!

I've never had the flu shot and I've never had the flu (I'm a baby-boomer, too, and I've been through several MAJOR flu outbreaks without ever getting sick). I'm a bit afraid to get the shot, but I'm going to do it this year. The reason I've never had the shot is that I'm allergic to thimerosol, a preservative they use. So when I went to the employee health office to get my shot, I was told, nope, you're allergic to a component, move along.

NOW one of the research projects I've been working on is in peds infectious disease dept and that's what these folks specialize in. I'm told that my allergy is NOT a contraindication. So, okay, I'll give it a try. Wish me luck!!

Love

Dennie

prmenrs, RN

Specializes in NICU, Infection Control. Has 42 years experience.

We are required to get them in our unit (premies don't have much of an immune system), and I have some chronic health problems, so would have qualified anyway, according to the guidelines. Flu shots for me!!

To minimize side effects from this or any other vaccination, pop 2 Tylenol @ the time of the injection and every 4-6 hours for 24 hours. It really helps!

Originally posted by JennyP "My husband has M.S. and is immunosupressed; his doctors feel it is very important that we (the family) have the vaccine every year to reduce his chance of getting it from us. Interestingly, his doctors could not agree for the first few years if he should have the flu shot or not; his neurologist didn't want him to have it, but his Internist thought he should have it. We finally consulted with both an Infectious disease doc and a Pharm. D. and they both felt that his having the flu vaccine was the prudent thing to do."

I was under the impression that MS actually causes a HYPERACTIVE immune system-at least that's what my previous neuro doc told me. Thta is why the immune system goes haywire-once something stimulates it, it is difficult for it to turn off, causing a hyper response that begins to attack the myelin sheath. Any vaccine works by stimulating an immune response, which is why my doc does not recommend it for people with MS. Did your husband have any side effects and if so did it cause an MS flare not long after the immunization?

Orignally posted by Bluebear "The flu shot is made with a killed virus, so you CANNOT get the flu from it. " I was under the impression that the flu shot is a live attenuated (weakened ) virus. Where did you get the info that it is a killed virus? Live or attenuated immunizations seem to trigger a hyperimmune response more than killed viruses.

I got my flu shot last week...the University where I work gives them to every employee for free. My husband is urged to get one as well by his Doc due to his COPD...a common cold gets him down for 2 weeks! 2 years ago he got the flu, and almost died of resp. failure. I would not let a year go by without getting one.

NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 43 years experience.

Everything you need about the flu: type of vacine, who should be immunized and best time (Oct + Nov. for chronically ill adults, those over 65 AND health care workers), spanish lanuguage information, pediatric indications including vaccine side effects & contraindications available here:

http://www.cdc.gov/nip/Flu/default.htm

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