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View Full Version : H1N1 vaccine: anyone getting it?



BrianY
10-15-2009, 10:45 AM
Background:

I have two sons, 7 and 11 years old and I'm naturally worried about the whole Swine Flu thing. I'm also not the type of person who is inclined to rush out for the latest wonder drug. I'm the kind of guy that asks my doctor to NOT give me a prescription unless I really need it. That being said, I'm also not anti-medicine. I'm just a rationalist.

Our family doctor is the same way...not inclined to dole out drugs if people don't really need them

I asked him last week about whether my kids should get the H1N1 vaccine (we were in for our annual flu shots) and he advised waiting for a couple of to see how it goes and to see if any adverse effects emerge (let other people be the test subjects) . He also said that he thought that the vaccine would probably be OK because it's produced the same way as the ususal seasonal flu vaccine, but he's holding out for a couple of weeks after the vaccinations begin before he has his own kids vaccinated.

He also put things in perspective: Seasonal flu kills about 30,000 people every year. Car accidents kill twice that annually

This pretty much confirmed my thoughts on the subject, but now we're being bombarded with advice from the CDC and other people in the medical/epedemiological world advising everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

So my question is: What are you folks - especially those with kids - going to do? Get vaccinated right away or wait? Not at all? I'm not looking for anyon eto tell me what to do. I'm just interested in how others are dealing with the dilemma.

ahp
10-15-2009, 10:55 AM
I will when it is available. I believe the arguments against it are based on hear say, ignorance, magic, and superstition. If you wait and see, it may be too late, and do you want to be a carrier, before you start feeling sick? There is a consideration of social responsibility.

Your doctor's estimate of auto deaths in the US is off by a wide margin.

TomF
10-15-2009, 10:58 AM
We'll be getting vaccinated.

Milo Christensen
10-15-2009, 10:58 AM
I got the flu last year that made me so sick for so long that I decided to never skip the shot again. I just got my first ever seasonal flu shot Monday. We are running out of the seasonal vaccine here in central Michigan.

I'm also planning on getting the H1N1 vaccine, but I'm not sure supply of the H1N1 vaccine is going to be able to meet the demand. Marilyn is in a high risk group for possible serious pneumococcal involvement if she gets H1N1, so I want her to get it as soon as it's available. Given this thing hits young kids hard, and the likelihood of a sudden onset, serious follow on pneumococcal infection is much higher than normal for other flus, and the main reason H1N1 is a different kind of killer, I'd get my young kids vaccinated with H1N1 and check to make sure they're up to date on their pneumococcus vaccinations.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
10-15-2009, 10:59 AM
Been offered - don't want.

Phillip Allen
10-15-2009, 11:06 AM
got my flu shot at the VA yesterday

Brian Palmer
10-15-2009, 11:08 AM
My two kids (11 and 8) and I had the H1N1 flu last summer, so we'll be skipping the vaccine. My kids were each home from summer camp for 5 days, and I was sick for 5 days and missed three days of work. This was not just the sniffles; we were down in bed and not able to do much else. The kids would have not been able to keep up with school work if they had any.

There is the risk from getting any vaccine, although small, and there is the risking of having complications from the flu, and then there are the practical side effects of being sick (missing school and work, not being able to get things done at home).

I am getting the seasonal flu shot next week, so are the kids, and we would be getting the H1N1 flu shot if we had not already had it.

Brian

BrianY
10-15-2009, 11:35 AM
Your doctor's estimate of auto deaths in the US is off by a wide margin.

You're right. In 2008 there were 43,313 in the US. I'll tell him when I take my kids in for the H1N1 vaccine ;)

Ian McColgin
10-15-2009, 11:55 AM
Unless there's a sudden availability of more vaccine, I'll likely not get that one since I have little contact with children, and not a health care worker and, despite non-insulin diabetes am in robust good health. However, if there's no shortage by early winter, I'll likely get it then. I had the regular seasonal vaccine last week.

I am a believer that health care and child care workers should be mandated to get vaccinated and that all employers ought to regard coming to work sick as a firing offence.

Fat chance but one can wish.

bobbys
10-15-2009, 11:59 AM
I think its a good idea to take it!.

UNDERGROUND
Under water grottos, caverns
Filled with apes
That eat figs.
Stepping on the figs
That the apes
Eat, they crunch.
The apes howl, bare
Their fangs, dance,
Tumble in the
Rushing water,
Musty, wet pelts
Glistening in the blue..

TimH
10-15-2009, 12:02 PM
I am afraid of needles :)

John Smith
10-15-2009, 12:03 PM
Background:

I have two sons, 7 and 11 years old and I'm naturally worried about the whole Swine Flu thing. I'm also not the type of person who is inclined to rush out for the latest wonder drug. I'm the kind of guy that asks my doctor to NOT give me a prescription unless I really need it. That being said, I'm also not anti-medicine. I'm just a rationalist.

Our family doctor is the same way...not inclined to dole out drugs if people don't really need them

I asked him last week about whether my kids should get the H1N1 vaccine (we were in for our annual flu shots) and he advised waiting for a couple of to see how it goes and to see if any adverse effects emerge (let other people be the test subjects) . He also said that he thought that the vaccine would probably be OK because it's produced the same way as the ususal seasonal flu vaccine, but he's holding out for a couple of weeks after the vaccinations begin before he has his own kids vaccinated.

He also put things in perspective: Seasonal flu kills about 30,000 people every year. Car accidents kill twice that annually

This pretty much confirmed my thoughts on the subject, but now we're being bombarded with advice from the CDC and other people in the medical/epedemiological world advising everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

So my question is: What are you folks - especially those with kids - going to do? Get vaccinated right away or wait? Not at all? I'm not looking for anyon eto tell me what to do. I'm just interested in how others are dealing with the dilemma.
How many people would die from flu if no one got flu shots?

I got my annual flu shot. My doc hasn't even mentioned swine flu shot.

I expect, with all contagious diseases, there are risks by age/activities. School kids, especially younger ones, are likely the highest risk because of all the kids in school

Older kids, who know how to properly blow their nose, sneeze into their arm, and wash their hands, etc. are less likely to spread such germs. Most, at work, don't have the number of people in their work places as kids have kids in school. Retired, even less people to come in contact with

I'd love to find what kind of warnings were there when the Polio vaccine was introduced.

I take the same vaccine every year my doctor takes.

Phillip Allen
10-15-2009, 12:10 PM
I am afraid of needles :)

stay away from pine forests

Flying Orca
10-15-2009, 12:18 PM
I'll be getting it when it's made available here; my work makes it a priority both from the government's perspective and from the standpoint of needing to protect the people we support.

Popeye
10-15-2009, 12:25 PM
Seasonal flu kills about 30,000 people every year. out of those 30,000 people , how many had underlying health issues , medical complications or were of advanced age ?

Flying Orca
10-15-2009, 12:27 PM
Most of them, which is why I won't be getting the seasonal flu shot. That and the fact that it appears to double one's likelihood of contracting H1N1 (according to unpublished studies).

Milo Christensen
10-15-2009, 01:29 PM
. . . the fact that it appears to double one's likelihood of contracting H1N1 (according to unpublished studies).

That's quite a statement to just throw out there. I'm thinking you need to give us as much information about this as you can.

George Roberts
10-15-2009, 01:42 PM
I read that children will need two shots of the H1N1 vaccine to gain immunity. I don't know why.

It appears that old people have sufficient immunity. I turned down a flu shot at the hospital. I guess I will turn down the next offer.

(Each time I get a shot I lie on my back and press my suicide pillow into my face as hard as I can. And I get a shot every morning at 9.)

Concordia...41
10-15-2009, 02:02 PM
...

It appears that old people have sufficient immunity.

...



What I find interesting about that is that the immunity supposedly comes from previous encounters with the same or similar virus. Specifically one that caused an outbreak in 1957, and my mother remembers having the flu that year.

It's just interesting how things cycle.

- M

bob winter
10-15-2009, 02:03 PM
Just saw the doctor to get the blood pressure checked and go over the blood work he ordered a couple of weeks ago. We talked about both flu shots and we decided I didn't need any of them. The feeling is that either virus would be scared of me.

Flying Orca
10-15-2009, 02:13 PM
That's quite a statement to just throw out there. I'm thinking you need to give us as much information about this as you can.

Word from highly-placed public health officials in Canada is that unpublished studies from at least two provinces (one was Quebec, can't remember the other one offhand, maybe Ontario) found that people who had the seasonal flu vaccine doubled their risk of contracting H1N1. I'm afraid you'll have to wait for publication to obtain any further information; TomF might know more though.

John of Phoenix
10-15-2009, 02:39 PM
I remember another swine flu pandemic in the late 70's. One of my flying buddies who was a well known garbage gut, complained that he had swine flu. "I've got diarrhea and can't stop vomiting. I feel miserable." I told him it was probably food poisoning from that week old burrito he'd found in his desk. "No it's definitely swine flu. I want to roll around in it." :D

TomF
10-15-2009, 03:26 PM
Word from highly-placed public health officials in Canada is that unpublished studies from at least two provinces (one was Quebec, can't remember the other one offhand, maybe Ontario) found that people who had the seasonal flu vaccine doubled their risk of contracting H1N1. I'm afraid you'll have to wait for publication to obtain any further information; TomF might know more though.There are very conflicting views on this.

Yes, 2 unpublished studies show extra vulnerability to getting H1N1 if you first get the Seasonal vaccine. In all the world, these are the only 2 reports of the phenomenon at all, and our Public Health people are clear that they'd prefer to trust the international community rather than 2 unpublished ... and not-peer-reviewed studies. Here's how the issue was recently addressed in a press release by our Public Health people:

We have moved forward with our seasonal vaccination program, according to plans. It started last week and will run for the month of October. The public awareness piece accompanying the campaign speaks to those most at risk of developing complications from seasonal influenza. They are: children six-to-23 months old, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions, and the elderly. We encourage these groups to get the publicly funded vaccine. A list of clinics by region may be found at www.gnb.ca/flu (http://www.gnb.ca/flu).
There has been a frequently referred to, but as-yet unpublished, Canadian study that suggests an association between seasonal flu vaccine and acquiring a mild case of the H1N1 virus. This study is inconsistent with other international studies, and has failed to show a relationship that one causes the other. Both the Public Health Agency of Canada and the World Health Organization have responded to the study, saying that preliminary data show that there is no link between having a severe bout of pandemic flu and having had a seasonal flu shot last year. New Brunswick's position on this study has never changed. In Canada, the responses of the provinces (which administer the vaccines) is mixed. New Brunswick and Manitoba are each going ahead with both sets of shots, giving the seasonal shots first ... because they're available first. Other provinces here have decided to hold off on the seasonal shots 'till H1N1 have been given - and perhaps even not giving the seaonal shots at all - on the off chance that the unpublished studies are right, and the international evidence is wrong.

Our Public Health people have been very convincing when I've asked questions directly - to the degree that as I said earlier, my family and I will all be getting the shots. My wife (who falls into the risk group due to athsma) will get both sets.

The full press release, which addresses this more completely, is at http://www.gnb.ca/cnb/news/he/2009e1521he.htm

t

Milo Christensen
10-15-2009, 03:33 PM
Well, if you get only a "mild" case of H1N1, perhaps it might just be best to get the seasonal flu and take your chances, certainly you'd develop a longer lasting natural immunity if you had a "mild" case. If the only association is with the seasonal shot and a "mild" case of H1N1, perhaps the seasonal shot gives a partial immunity. All the more reason to get the seasonal shot. How mild is the next relevant question?

TomF
10-15-2009, 03:40 PM
...How mild is the next relevant question?I dunno - haven't seen the studies.

Milo Christensen
10-15-2009, 04:00 PM
Well, thanks for posting what you know. Please post updates here if possible.

Flying Orca
10-15-2009, 04:56 PM
Thanks for that Tom, always helpful to have more information. Looks like the view here is to recommend the seasonal shot only for folks in high-risk groups and recommend the H1N1 shot for pretty much everyone. I suspect it won't make a huge amount of difference in the end.

BrianY
10-15-2009, 08:45 PM
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/SwineFluNews/cdc-reports-increased-h1n1-risk-seasonal-flu-shot/story?id=8676187

ahp
10-15-2009, 08:55 PM
Anyone who refuses to be vacinated should be put on the No Fly list by Home Land Security. I don't the SOB in the seat next to me.

George Jung
10-15-2009, 09:01 PM
You might check out recommendations at www.CDC.gov/influenza. Particularly interesting - they're not really recommending treatment of the H1N1 flu; fear of developing resistance; and most cases are mild/self limited.

ripley699
10-15-2009, 09:11 PM
Having had an organ transplant,I have to take drugs,twice a day to keep my immune system flying at half staff.I therefore wondered if i should get the H1n1 flu shot.My doctors [many of them ] and my personal nurse says "yes".
Obviously with my immune system shut down half way i should be more susceptable to catching that particular flu.
My nurse told me that this is not an active virus in this flu shot but a dead virus..so not to worry .
Funny,,,,not a single one of my doctors ,,I have 6 ,has ever had an organ transplant ,nor my nurse...
I am gonna wait a bit to see how this thing "shakes out"...in 2 more months ,if i dont see any side effects I will look into it some more...remember thalidomide??
In the mean time,I am being careful..

RIP

David Tabor (sailordave)
10-15-2009, 09:29 PM
http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/health/One-in-a-Million-Shot-64189142.html


Yep, it's rare, but I sure as hell wouldn't want to be this local girl. I saw a video of her and it was very disturbing.

I haven't gotten a flu shot in over 3 years and probably won't this year.

George Jung
10-16-2009, 01:09 PM
For you conspiracy theorists out there, just curious....

Did you recommend the Meningitis vaccine for your kids? If not, would you? Or are you too concerned about the very rare side effects. This is a trick question, btw...

Sorry to hear your problems, Ripley - you're one of the 'high riskers' who should get the vaccine. But not to worry, eh? As an aside, if the only health advice you'll take from your Drs. is if they're similarly afflicted, you're going to be drawing from a real shallow pool. And by extension, if that's what it takes to be considered credible, I'm sure not going to go into oncology or gynecology.....

Milo Christensen
10-16-2009, 01:30 PM
30,000 + H1N1 deaths, disportionately affecting yound kids, if nobody gets the vaccine versus 150 - 300 "adverse" reactions (1 to 2 per million directly from the vaccine) if everybody gets the vaccine. Why would parents expose their children to a 100 to 200 times greater risk of death? Perhaps they don't understand the altered mechanism this flu has that damages the lung cilia, dramatically increasing the odds of death from pneumonia.

Flying Orca
10-16-2009, 01:32 PM
I'd like to know what the peer reviewers are making of the Canadian studies.

Bernadette
10-17-2009, 04:18 AM
im working up on saibai island in the torres straits at the moment. last week we did a vaccination drive and vaccinated 200 or so locals. as a nurse employed with queensland health i am 'encouraged' to get vaccinated but its not a condition of employment. anyhow i didnt take up the offer. its just a personal choice. in any case the multi vial vaccination contains thiomersal which is a mercury containing compound used as a preservative (but probably in miniscual proportions im sure). saibai island is within spitting distance of PNG. the local PNG people come across to our side to attend the chest clinic and to see the specialist infectious physician because a lot of them have TB. fortunatley for me i developed antibodies to TB from an unknown exposure at a very young age. plus of course i face the risk of getting hepatitis and HIV from blood. i obviously dont have a chance against HIV but again, somewhere along the line i developed antibodies to hepatitis and have never been vaccinated.

John Smith
10-17-2009, 06:48 AM
30,000 + H1N1 deaths, disportionately affecting yound kids, if nobody gets the vaccine versus 150 - 300 "adverse" reactions (1 to 2 per million directly from the vaccine) if everybody gets the vaccine. Why would parents expose their children to a 100 to 200 times greater risk of death? Perhaps they don't understand the altered mechanism this flu has that damages the lung cilia, dramatically increasing the odds of death from pneumonia.
Sign of the times, I guess

They argued about this on Maher's show last night.

Seems to me that everything we do in life pretty much is risk management. We take medications, most of which have possible adverse side affects. We spray stuff to prevent sunburn or prevent bug bites, and some people have problems with the sprays.

Perhaps I'm naive, but I have to believe this vaccine would not be issued at all if those people who do these things didn't feel the benefits outwayed the risk.

I'm sure we all know people who've argued that smoking doesn't cause cancer.

htom
10-17-2009, 04:53 PM
If I had school-age kids I'd get them vaccinated. Since I'm in a high-risk group, and my parents are, and I'm going to be with them for a month, I'm getting it. Probably would have gotten it anyway, and it looks like I might not get it before going to see them. Still getting it; talked to sister-in-law the pediatrician and she's told her college-age kids to get it when it becomes available.

It looks like you're about a hundred times more likely to die from H1N1 than from the vaccine; this sounds like a good bet to me. Your life, your choice.

The mercury-in-vaccine causes (your choice of evil) has been shown to be incorrect. Whether the original paper was error or fraud is an open question at the moment; the data were not there to support the conclusions. Not that this makes any difference to most people.

P.L.Lenihan
10-17-2009, 05:31 PM
Just heard the news here that over 60% of the nurses here are refusing the vaccine. The government is a bit up-tight about this and is considering suspending nurses who refuse to be vaccinated......which in turn has the largest nurses' union here in an uproar as there is a terrible shortage already in the nursing field and the governments' postion is,on one hand, saying it is a question of free choice whether or not someone gets vaccinated yet will suspend any nurse who refuses. A common complaint here is that there has not been enough time to properly evaluate this vaccine etc.....

I've only been vaccinated once,as an adult, against the flue and I was as sick as a dog. Never have been vaccinated since.Will not be this time either.


Cheers!


Peter

George Jung
10-17-2009, 11:56 PM
1) The mercury present in (some) vaccines (it's not in the single dose vials of flu-vax) is cleared by the body in very short order - it's undetectable after two weeks. And there has never been a scientific study that linked this mercury content to any disorders - it's a red herring.

2) You cannot get the flu from the flu-vax - it's a killed virus. Your body recognizes the foreign protein, and makes (protective) antibodies. The only difference, from your bodies perspective) between getting the flu-vax, and getting the flu, is the illness. In both instances, you end up making antibodies.

3) Most people who 'got sick after getting the flu shot' waited until influenza was in their community, then rushed in to get the vaccine - and already had flu incubating in their bodies. But you can't convince (most) people.

4) Where were those Canadian nurses educated? It's scary, seeing how they seemingly didn't learn the basics in their training. Amazing. BTW, every year, the flu vaccine is 'novel' - they make up the combination for their shots based on what strains they anticipate will be circulating in any given year. The swine flu vax is manufactured in the same manner.

Paul Girouard
10-18-2009, 12:00 AM
I've only been vaccinated once,as an adult, against the flue and I was as sick as a dog. Never have been vaccinated since.Will not be this time either.





Did they use the metal type brush cleaner on you instead of the clay liner type? Maybe thats why you got sick. :D

Flying Orca
10-18-2009, 09:32 AM
Thank you, George - nothing new to me there, but your info may help open some eyes. As for those nurses... well, things have been known to get a bit funny in Quebec!

P.L.Lenihan
10-19-2009, 02:49 AM
[quote=George Jung;2354355]4) Where were those Canadian nurses educated? It's scary, seeing how they seemingly didn't learn the basics in their training.quote]

They were and continue to be educated here, in Quebec. However, "we" keep losing them almost by the bus load, to hospitals in the lower U.S.A., especially Texas and Florida, which routinely come up here on big recruitment drives. Not being a nurse, I really can't speak to their seemingly skipping the basics in their training but where I work they are big on enforcing Universal Precaution Procedures which appears to go a long way toward preventing many basic problems.



Cheers!


Peter

P.L.Lenihan
10-19-2009, 02:58 AM
Did they use the metal type brush cleaner on you instead of the clay liner type? Maybe thats why you got sick. :D

No, they used a velvet tongue and it really didn't feel all that bad after the first few minutes :D

Not entirely certain about exactly why or how I got sick but just because I became ill shortly after recieving the vaccine does not necessarily suggest it came from the vaccine,per se, it just happened that way and I drew my own conclusions about future vaccines(offered free and annually where I work) based on my illness free past up until that point in time.

No grippe or flu shots for me, thank you.


Cheers!


Peter.... spelling challenged...at times!

TomF
10-21-2009, 02:43 PM
Was in a meeting yesterday with our Chief Medical Officer of Health (head honcho Public Health person), and I thought you'd be interested in some of what she had to say about how things are developing. Some of this you'll have likely heard before.

H1N1 seems less likely to hit people over 65 than many strains; somehow they've got a bit of immunity. It's unsure whether that's from being exposed to a similar virus at some point decades ago, or to elements in a previously recieved vaccine.
People with compromised immune systems are at somewhat greater risk ... i.e. young children (under 3), pregnant women, people with chronic conditions etc. Same is true for Native or Aboriginal populations. That said, it's not only a disease of the desperately frail - some of thepeople who've had the most serious cases have been typically healthy, though sometimes with mild pre-existing conditions like obesity, history of athsma etc.
In its most serious cases, H1N1 can be a very nasty bug indeed. The severe cases can mess with a lot of things - including kidneys, liver etc. A torrential case is as bad as anything infectious disease most ICU units have ever seen.
There does not seem to be any causal connection between the seasonal flu vaccine and H1N1 susceptibility. The infamous study observed that somewhat more of the people who contracted H1N1 last Spring had had a seasonal flu shot a few months before. But note: the people who disproportionately get seasonal flu shots are those who fit into the "compromised immune system" groups in #2 above. These are the people you'd expect to be at greater risk when a new virus comes along.
Most Canadian provinces which had put their seasonal flu vaccination programs on hold are now working to deliver both the seasonal and the H1N1 shots at or around the same time.
The H1N1 vaccine is as safe as any vaccine we've ever used; there's nothing in it which hasn't been administered before in one combination or another. While there will be common side effects, as from any flu shot (arm swelling, soreness, possibly mild fever), the risk for anything more serious is very small. The risk was greater when you last took your car out to buy groceries.
Fully 40% of people with influenza are asymptomatic. That I didn't know! Which means that no matter how many people who feel sick stay home from work, H1N1 will be toodling 'round the workplace. It's a fairly nasty flu even if you don't get a bad dose ... the vaccination will be a worthwhile investment.
While handwashing is a great practice, it's nothing like so effective preventing respiratory infections than, say, gastro-intestinal ones. Wash your hands, for sure, but don't imagine that it alone will protect you from H1N1. That's not the flu's typical infection route.
Our Chief Medical Officer of Health's a mom ... lives down the street from me with her husband and their 3 kids. They're all getting the vaccine. So are my lot.

ahp
10-21-2009, 04:05 PM
There was a scary article in the NYTs yesterday. A pregnant young women contacted H1N1. For about a week she felt progressivily not well, but she thought what ever it was would just go away. It didn't. When she became delirious her husband took her to the hospital. She was there for 4 months and was in a coma for several weeks, and suffered six lung collapses. When a woman is pregnant her immune system is suppressed. It became a choice of her or the unborn baby. An emergency C section was done, but the 26 week old fetus only lived a few hours.

This young woman was in her 20's, was not over weight, had no underlying health problems and had been a high school varsity swimmer.

Most people that contact H1N1 have no symptoms. Think about that when there is a young woman in the seat beside you or in the checkout line in front of you.