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Bigun
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:22 pm    Post subject: Flu Shots - Waste of time and money? Reply with quote

US National Flu Report

My best understanding of how flu shots work is that it is a best medical guess at what strand of flu will make it's rounds that season.

In my unprofessional opinion, the guesses have been piss poor at best and is making me begin to question the validity/usefulness of the generic seasonal flu shot.

Discuss?
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pjp
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Best guess is what I've heard as well. I disagree with calling it a "medical" guess.

The main advantage is to help reduce exposure to "at risk" people. Typically children and the elderly.

I'm opposed to mandatory submission to guesswork with such "success" rates. That said, I support employers (hospitals, etc.) requiring staff to obtain a flu shot.
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energyman76b
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it is not a 'medical' guess. The WHO - deep in the pockets of the pharma industry declares one type as the winner - the one told them by lobbyist to choose - and then governments all over the world will by the superfluos vaccine and start a vaccinitian program that has zilch positive impact, but does pump public money into private pockets.

It is just stupid. There are good vacs. Smallpox. HepA/B, Measles, Tetanus, Polio.

And then there is flu. Just dumb.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never took a flu shot, even when I lived in Stockholm and used public transport on daily basis. Eat good, excercise, wash your hands and other common sense, even if you catch something the immune system can usually fight it off (talking about flu). You feel bit weird / low energy from time to time, but if it is because of some flu or because 5 months winter sucks, who knows.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

energyman76b wrote:
it is not a 'medical' guess. The WHO - deep in the pockets of the pharma industry declares one type as the winner - the one told them by lobbyist to choose - and then governments all over the world will by the superfluos vaccine and start a vaccinitian program that has zilch positive impact, but does pump public money into private pockets.

It is just stupid. There are good vacs. Smallpox. HepA/B, Measles, Tetanus, Polio.

And then there is flu. Just dumb.


Except that the flu is one of the biggest killers in the developed world.

I never get the shot, but I can understand people (old particularly) wanting it.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

juniper wrote:
Except that the flu is one of the biggest killers in the developed world.

I never get the shot, but I can understand people (old particularly) wanting it.


The thing is, it's not guaranteed that it works, and it has its downsides.
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Bigun
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prenj wrote:
juniper wrote:
Except that the flu is one of the biggest killers in the developed world.

I never get the shot, but I can understand people (old particularly) wanting it.


The thing is, it's not guaranteed that it works, and it has its downsides.


Exactly, hence the thread. I personally think of a gigantic waste of time, money and an unnecessary risk.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

energyman76b wrote:
The WHO - deep in the pockets of the pharma industry declares one type as the winner
Scyents strikes again?
CDC wrote:
The viruses in the vaccine can change each year based on international surveillance and scientists’ estimations about which types and strains of viruses will circulate in a given year. While some manufacturers are planning to produce a quadrivalent (four component) vaccine in the future, quadrivalent vaccines are not expected to be available for the 2012-2013 season.

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Bigun
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pjp wrote:
CDC wrote:
The viruses in the vaccine can change each year based on international surveillance and scientists’ estimations about which types and strains of viruses will circulate in a given year. While some manufacturers are planning to produce a quadrivalent (four component) vaccine in the future, quadrivalent vaccines are not expected to be available for the 2012-2013 season.


Awesome, now I can get sick with four different types of flu at the same time, and make it a fifth if all four are wrong.

I'm with prenj, just wash your damn hands.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Obsessive washing of hands weakens the immune system and risks contributing to OCD.
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energyman76b
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

juniper wrote:
energyman76b wrote:
it is not a 'medical' guess. The WHO - deep in the pockets of the pharma industry declares one type as the winner - the one told them by lobbyist to choose - and then governments all over the world will by the superfluos vaccine and start a vaccinitian program that has zilch positive impact, but does pump public money into private pockets.

It is just stupid. There are good vacs. Smallpox. HepA/B, Measles, Tetanus, Polio.

And then there is flu. Just dumb.


Except that the flu is one of the biggest killers in the developed world.

I never get the shot, but I can understand people (old particularly) wanting it.


except that the vaccine does only work against one certain strand and nothing else, while the side effects can be severe. And this strand has been chosen month ahead from thousands to millions of possible strands. So... what is the point again?
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

energyman76b wrote:
juniper wrote:
energyman76b wrote:
it is not a 'medical' guess. The WHO - deep in the pockets of the pharma industry declares one type as the winner - the one told them by lobbyist to choose - and then governments all over the world will by the superfluos vaccine and start a vaccinitian program that has zilch positive impact, but does pump public money into private pockets.

It is just stupid. There are good vacs. Smallpox. HepA/B, Measles, Tetanus, Polio.

And then there is flu. Just dumb.


Except that the flu is one of the biggest killers in the developed world.

I never get the shot, but I can understand people (old particularly) wanting it.


except that the vaccine does only work against one certain strand and nothing else, while the side effects can be severe. And this strand has been chosen month ahead from thousands to millions of possible strands. So... what is the point again?


I am not saying it is good. But, for one thing, you see above that certain vaccines deal with more than one strain. But the point with any immunization is to vaccinate enough people, so that the bug can't spread effectively. That way, not only do you protect the vaccinated people, but you protect the people that would have gotten through contact with such a person. it isn't perfect, but it might work.

Personally, the flu doesn't bother me too much, so I don't get it.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pjp wrote:
Obsessive washing of hands weakens the immune system and risks contributing to OCD.


One can always pick one's nose afterwards for good measure! :lol:
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Washing your hands would have little effect on a virus. Heating your hands to +10,000C might work, or exposure to UV radiation for 15 minutes.
*edit* and as for side effects, as long as more people survive than would unvaccinated then it's a win, statistically speaking :P
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pjp
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sikpuppy wrote:
Washing your hands would have little effect on a virus. Heating your hands to +10,000C might work, or exposure to UV radiation for 15 minutes.
Then why is it recommended as the next best thing to a panacea?

sikpuppy wrote:
*edit* and as for side effects, as long as more people survive than would unvaccinated then it's a win, statistically speaking :P
I would think it helps contribute to the propagation of super-flu.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pjp wrote:
sikpuppy wrote:
Washing your hands would have little effect on a virus. Heating your hands to +10,000C might work, or exposure to UV radiation for 15 minutes.
Then why is it recommended as the next best thing to a panacea?

For bacterial infections, yes, for viral infections, no.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/preventing.htm

Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

juniper wrote:
the flu doesn't bother me too much, so I don't get it.


Had the genuine article a good few years ago, do not wish to repeat the experience - so I take the jab, paid for it
in the past, my job now provides it free of charge.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pjp wrote:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/preventing.htm

Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

And put sticky tape around the windows.
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zenlunatic
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have never gotten a flu shot, nor do I plan to. I haven't been sick in years, and I ride public transit 4x per week.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zenlunatic wrote:
I haven't been sick in years, and I ride public transit 4x per week.


:evil:
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Medicine is all about the benefits of a treatment outweigh the risks (actually, this is true in general, but especially in medicine). Vulnerable people - the very young, the very old, those with compromised immune systems, compromised lung functions will gain the most benefit. Those who work with vulnerable people (teachers, nurses, parents, etc) can benefit as well, by making it less likely for the contact or spread the virus. For everyone else - it may still help cut down on sick days, bit if they want to pass on this one, that's fine. On the other hand, certain people should NOT get the flu shot - if they are "everyone else" and are allergic to the ingredients of the flu shot (eggs in particular), have had an allergic reaction to previous fly short or have had rare, acute autoimmune disorder called Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) - (although note the flu itself can trigger GBS, if someone has never had GBS they vaccine itself doesn't increase the risk). If one is vulnerable or is commonly around vulnerable people but has one of the contraindications listed above will need to speak their physician to decide whether or not one should have the vaccine this year.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never even heard about flu shots until last year. Did something change worldwide?
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

arnvidr wrote:
I never even heard about flu shots until last year. Did something change worldwide?

No. They have been widely available here since 1997.

*Edit* Source: http://www.health.vic.gov.au/immunisation/resources/history.htm
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure, but no one ever talked about them. At least not here. And the link says that until 2010 it was only for over 65 year olds. So, hysteria, or more serious than before? In my mind it's still "just the flu", but I might be out of date.
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