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Lots of reactions to the flu vax this year

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we've given a lot of vaxes through our home health agency and this year we're hearing a lot of minor complaints: feeling achey, low grade temps, etc. last friday monster got hers, and she's been running a fever ever since. unusual for her, she's never run fevers with vaxes before. not low grade, either, i've gotten some readings up to 103 at night.

yesterday dd#1 called me in a total panic at work, monster was running 105. i dropped and ran. took me an hour to get home and it had come down to 103.8. motrin brought it down to 100.6. by the time we got to the doc two hours later it was 99-something. fnp thinks it's just a vax reaction because she can't find anything else, but dang! she's on motrin around the clock for 3 days then we'll try a trial day of nothing to see if it comes back.

funny side note: i have a temporal thermometer. after the temp got down to 100 dd#1 said "her fever broke."

monster started crying and pointing to her forehead: "mama, my fever broke-ded here, can you fix it??"

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 28 years experience.

Glad to hear you fixed the broke fever.

I'm not hearing of any problems this way. We got ours yesterday and so far so good.

Couple of years ago, two of our staff ended up with GBS after their flu vaccines. Since that is supposed to be such a rare complication, having two develop this was a bit unnerving.

Boston-RN, RN

Specializes in LTAC, Telemetry, Thoracic Surgery, ED.

and people think I'm paranoid for not getting one.....never got one and never plan on it....

ebear, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg/Peds/O.R./Legal/cardiology. Has 37 years experience.

I have seen some HELLACIOUS reactions in the past few years! Both local and systemic. Infection control folks say "Not possible, this is not a live vaccine"...blah, blah, blah Well, what's doing it then?

My DD (20 months) had a reaction this year. She ran a fever for 4 days, it got up to 103 at one point. She may have been coming down with something before the shot, but I'm not really sure.

I felt a little more achy than usual after I got this year's too...

My dh got the vaccine a couple of days ago and is complaining about the same. No fever yet but I think it's coming. He's feeling pretty puny.

I have had the vaccine this year and for the last few years....no problems. In 1976 I had the vaccine via a jet injector. As we left the facility, my younger sister and I were sick (vomited), likely from the shot as many others that year reported similar problems. My mom was fine, so was my older sister. Because of that experience in 1976, I avoided flu shots for many years. I am now back using them because my doctor recommended it and because of working in healthcare.

I'm glad your daughter is doing better.

I can't help but wonder if there are times the vaccines are contaminated somehow (e.g., with like material) or if people have allergic reactions to some element of the agent carrying the killed viral material. I have trouble with the idea of a killed virus causing a problem.

Christie RN2006

Specializes in SICU, EMS, Home Health, School Nursing.

I am not sold on the flu vaccine... I have never gotten one and I never plan on getting one at this point.

I never got one until I was pregnant, because the one time I did get one I got sooo sick. So did a coworker. When I got the second one and didn't react, I took it for the next couple of years. I didn't take it this year just because I never got around to holding my arm out for someone to stab. I think I'll skip it this year.

sharona97, BSN, RN

Specializes in IM/Critical Care/Cardiology.

My doc declined to give me one this week as I am ill with upper respiratory. I found it interesting that he would say, this year it would really make you worse......Anybody know which strains this year the vaccine is covering?

Hope your daughter feels better too, Tazzi.

bigsyis

Specializes in ER, Occupational Health, Cardiology. Has 24 years experience.

I've given almost 100 so far this year and haven't had anyone complain of anything other than a mild local reaction.

My doc declined to give me one this week as I am ill with upper respiratory. I found it interesting that he would say, this year it would really make you worse......

Hmmm... I'd like to better understand why. Maybe (per my very basic understanding of microbiology), because your immune system would be "distracted" by the invaders --even though they are dead. If that is the case, then maybe that's why some folks get sick --they have a mild case of something else and then get the flu vaccine, which "distracts" their immune system.

I'm curious if anyone has some reference material on the above. I'd like to learn more. Will google it later.

ebear, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg/Peds/O.R./Legal/cardiology. Has 37 years experience.

sharona, hope you feel better soon 'punkin!

Anybody know which strains this year the vaccine is covering?

Influenza A - Solomon Islands/3/2006 (H1N1)-like

Influenza A - Wisconsin/67/2005 (H3N2)-like

Influenza B - Malaysia/2506/2004-like antigen

"(T)he strains of the influenza aiming for North America appear to be drifting and mutating, raising questions about how much protection this year's flu vaccine will offer.

The process of creating the annual flu shot is a complicated one and actually begins almost a year ahead of time. The World Health Organization monitors flu activity around the world, looking for predominant strains. As flu viruses reproduce, they often trigger slight changes in their genetic code, which scientists call antigenic drift."

...

"The WHO then selects the strains that they think are most likely to predominate in the northern hemisphere. They generally select three -- two subtypes of influenza A viruses and one influenza B virus-- to go into the vaccines to be used the following fall and winter.

Each year, authorities change one or two of the three strains in the vaccine, which is why it is important to get a new flu shot every year to ensure protection against the most recent strains."

"No drug or vaccine is ever 100 per cent effective and this year's vaccine won't be a perfect match either. But scientists point out that the antibodies the vaccine helps produce will offer some immunity over whatever strains do arrive.

"In recent seasons, even where there has been a vaccine mismatch, the vaccine can afford 40-50 per cent protection," says Dr. Theresa Tam of the Public Health Agency of Canada.

And some protection is better than none, especially for the elderly, she says, for whom the flu can actually be fatal."

(http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20071024/flu_shot_071024/20071024/)

MisMatch, LPN

Specializes in geriatrics. Has 14 years experience.

My concern/question - I'm 51 y/o, never had the flu, never had a flu vaccine. I work at an ALF, and start clinicals in January. Should I get the vaccine?? Thanks.

My concern/question - I'm 51 y/o, never had the flu, never had a flu vaccine. I work at an ALF, and start clinicals in January. Should I get the vaccine?? Thanks.

I'd talk to your doctor about it. When I talked to mine, she was definite in her recommendation because I have asthma. She also gave me a pneumonia vaccine.

I am not answering your question directly as I don't think we're supposed to do that on this board, and also because I am nowhere near qualified to do so. --But if you look at the data on the flu shot http://www.cdc.gov/flu/ and http://www.who.int/csr/disease/influenza/en/, etc., it's a good bet for many. Folks that have allergies to eggs should not take it (as it is usually in a solution derived from eggs), and folks that are currently sick should not take it.

Fiona59

Has 18 years experience.

The only thing we've noticed is that this year we are having more people with blood "trickles" after we finish the injection. We've all aspirated but it seems like every othr person bleeds.

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