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witchywoman

The H1N1 vaccine. Will you?

  

44 members have voted

  1. 1. Will you get the H1N1 vaccine for yourself?

    • Yes
      16
    • No
      22
    • Undecided
      6
  2. 2. Will you get the H1N1 vaccine for your child/children?

    • Yes
      12
    • No
      7
    • Undecided
      6
    • No children
      16
    • Children are grown, not my issue
      3


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Stickler

it feels like the regular flu, just worse. the biggest difference is you might also have vomiting and diarrhea. I had neither just a lot of naseua, a lot of 'about to throw up' moments but I didn't. 4-7 days of just feeling stomped on (like with the regular seasonal flu) and then 14-21ish days of slow recovery, and a darn cough that takes forever to go away. I can see how/why it could kill people though, when you are so sick you can feel all your body fighting against it. like a strong breeze could carry you off or a fever, which normally would be no big deal, becomes impossible to get over because all your immunity is being used up to fight this thing.

I hadn't had the flu since 2003, so this was a big shock. If I hadn't already had it I think I would get the vaccine. but it's easy for me to say, because now I don't have to get it. hmmmmmm.

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I didn't even know that there was a vaccine, maybe because I'm in New Zealand and I'm not even sure if they have it here or not.

Even if it was here I don't think I'd bother getting it. I don't have any medical conditions that would leave me more likely to catch it or more likely to die from it, so I just don't see the point. I think that this is just another way for people to make money...unless the vaccines are free of course.

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I had dinner with a few doctors and nurses last night (they work in urgent care and the ER) and wow you guys

the thing about the H1N1 and I am not trying to inspire paranoia here at all this is real what I am sying

the bad and scary part about the H1N1 is the people being admited to the ICU day after day (hospitals are on "divert" around here) are formally very very healthy people with no history of chronic illness

and people are not doing well when they hit that point

so be careful this really is an empidemic and even all the provicers have not been immunized yet

well I am going to take my days off and not think about this subject anymore it is hard at work and I need a break

good luck all stay well!!!

and when they are available to you and you are in the high risk group ...get your shot! at least the H1N1 but you should have both this year

Edited by wondernut

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That Tamiflu stuff works pretty well.

My doc said while H1N1 is something to take seriously it's not worth the hysteria going around. If you're a high rick group, get the shot unless you've had the H1N1 flu already. From my own experience, it ain't the Beijing Flu, which for me was waaaay worse--full month of unmitigated GI hell. This was an annoyance more'n anything else. I know neighbors now who had it worse but even they said, it wasn't as bad as the MSM hype makes it out to be.

There are buttloads of info on symptoms on the CDC site and when you do actually need to be alarmed and get thyself to an ER. Plus if you think you've got it but aren't sure, there are tests for it. You can get results damned fast and they're at free clinics if you can't afford to go to the doc. Hell, even my evil HMO covered it.

Just another one of those things to just be sober about and not hysterical.

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I can pretty much say with 100% predictablity ..I will be in full blown hysteria myself by the end of this flu season

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As a healthcare provider, I was eligible for first shot at the vaccine. I got it 3 days ago. No reaction, I was totally fine.

I think vaccinations, on the whole, are a good idea, when available. Even if I don't get mortally sick and die, I can live without catching a nasty flu, if possible. And, if it helps me not to spread the thing.... Sure.

Anna

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No health professional I know will admit to getting it or wanting to get it.

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Had it, as soon as my workplace had enough for highest-risk staff members (such as the pregnant ones.)

Karuna, really, none of them? That's a moment of culture shock for me. What's the reason cited by the people you know? Every direct patient care health care worker I know has now had it, as well as every pharmacist with patient contact.

At the local hospital, they issued stickers for "H1N1 09" and "FLU 09" that were placed on ID badges after vaccination; they always do this with seasonal flu shots. Patients and infection control can then tell which staff members have been vaccinated and have not been vaccinated. Inpatient orders can (and often do) specify vaccinated staff only for immunocompromised and other high-risk patients.

They do get some good outcomes with this, I have to say.

The peak seems to have subsided in North America, just in time to move into seasonal flu - but there's plenty of H1N1 to go around.

I'd still get the vaccination, as well as regular seasonal flu vaccine, certainly if under age 50.

And if anyone is pregnant, likely to become pregnant, or spends lots of time around a pregnant person, this is not something to mess around with - you don't want swine flu. Vaccination is a very good idea if you're in an appropriate population. H1N1 plus pregnancy = bad news.

By the way, RapidFlu screening is not particularly useful for H1N1 (which would test out as influenza A); it's definitely not catching cases that do in fact culture positive for H1N1 in the hospital. I believe the infection control department presented at the local public health meeting that Rapidflu only caught 10% of culture positive cases? (something like that.) Don't rely on this.

I also wouldn't rely on Tamiflu's availability. Plus remember that Tamiflu isn't always effective - and that while it reduces symptoms of flu (by one day's duration), it may not reduce the complications of flu, which is the bad scary stuff (think pneumonia. Pneumonia is BAD.) There is supposed to be an article that just came out on this, I think. I'll post link if I see it. It was all over the epi news yesterday, will search my inbox... Ah. It's a Cochrane review. Here. The gist re: complications/sequelae is that the prior data re: modest reduction in pneumonia are only from drug company data and that the researchers are requesting release of information/data.

Prevention - vaccination, common sense precautions (no licking snotty-faced toddlers), and hand-washing - should always come first. When prevention is ineffective, Tamiflu is the second line.

Even more importantly, at a macro level, Tamiflu doesn't prevent spread of the virus. And that's a major problem.

Fall into winter is always such a fun time... between flu A, flu B, rhinoviruses, RSV, and now H1N1, it's just nonstop partying!

Yours in handwashing,

Silver

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I am not entitled to it at the moment.

Plus as it is H1N1 wouldn't the seasonal vaccine provide cross immunity as it is the antigens that cause the illness? And H1N1 is in the usual flu vaccine, at least in europe

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i'm getting mine this afternoon, actually. but i don't have a choice, it's required. they love to mandate us shots.

Edited by engravedshadow

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I am not entitled to it at the moment.

Plus as it is H1N1 wouldn't the seasonal vaccine provide cross immunity as it is the antigens that cause the illness? And H1N1 is in the usual flu vaccine, at least in europe

It's my understanding that the seasonal flu shot will not protect you from H1N1. There is no cross immunity. They are different strains of the flu virus. Different animals.

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I got it. I work in a hospital academically, and it was "strongly encouraged." I've never had flu of any sort, and I feel as though I'm immune to influenza in general. But I'd feel really bad if I spread it to others, and someone got really sick...

The way I see it, there isn't a big chance that the H1N1 vaccine is actually dangerous. It's made exactly the same way seasonal flu vaccines are made (which means that if you have an egg allergy, you shouldn't get it). The only question is just how effective it'll turn out to be.

The only really scary thing about H1N1 is that its course is worst in those don't normally succumb to the flu particularly badly--the relatively young (with relatively minor health issues). Of course that's partly because the really old have lived through a similar strain of the flu.

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I honestly believe as a healthcare provider we have almost aborted the third wave of this ..I could be wrong but I think even with the shortage of vaccine that we are much better off and will have a lighter regular flu season ...yay for early immunizing ..for those of you who have a problem with the vaccine I am sorry really there is no consipiracy ;) really!!!!

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I've never gotten a flu shot before (I'm over 40). But I've been considering both this year just because ...

But I don't think I can make myself do it. My OCD/hospital trauma is so bad that any shot gives me a panic attack and then the shakes for several days. Two years ago I had to get the rabies series and I almost lost what was left of my mind. I just don't think I can force myself to do this.

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I do not work in healthcare, but due to the nature of my job, I probably know as much about H1N1 as most general practioners. I sometimes don't realize that not everyone has read and researched as much as I have. I thought I'd share some of what I've learned since April 24.

Thimerosal

Thimerosal is a preservative that contains trace amounts of mercury. It is used in muti-dose vials of vaccines - bottles that contain more than one dose. Even a sterile needle can pick up trace amounts of bacteria from the time it is removed from the package and inserted in the bottle. Without the preservative, that bacteria could grow and contaminate subsequent doses. Thimerosal has been eliminated from most routine childhood vaccines - not because it is actually harmful, but because so many people believed it's harmful that they stopped immunizing their kids.

The nasal mist version of both seasonal and H1N1 vaccine do NOT contain thimerosal. Single-use vials of H1N1 vaccine do NOT contain thimerosal (more likely to find these at a pediatrician's office). FWIW, the seasonal vaccine I received this year contained thimerosal and I'm still alive and well. I would have no problem giving my child a vaccine that contained thimerosal.

Gullain Barre Syndrome (GBS)

GBS is caused by an immune response to foreign antigens (such as infectious agents) that are mistargeted at host nerve tissues instead. The odds of getting GBS as the result of influenza are 1 in 10,000. 33% of the U.S. population contract influenza every year.

Since a vaccine triggers an immune response, theoretically it could trigger GBS, though this has never been proven - even after the H1N1 vaccination program in the 1970s. Even if the flu vaccine causes GBS, the odds are 1 in 1-2 million.

Seasonal flu vs H1N1 vs Common cold

There is a ton of misinformation circulating about the difference between H1N1 and seasonal flu. The symptoms are identical. Even a doctor cannot tell the difference based on a physical examination. Only a laboratory test (not a rapid test that can be performed in the doctor's office) can tell the difference between H1N1 and seasonal flu. The only possible difference is that nausea, vomitting, and diarrhea (uncommon with seasonal flu, especially adults) occurs in about 30% of H1N1 cases (mostly children).

The onset of flu is sudden - usually 3-6 hours. A high fever and headache are classic symptoms. Fatigue and body aches are extreme. Cough is usually dry. Sneezing, congestion, and/or runny nose may be present, but these symptoms, especially if no fever is present, are classic symptoms of the common cold or other mild upper respiratory infection.

With any type of flu, if your fever goes away and then comes back a day or two, immediately see your doctor or go to the emergency room as this is indication of a secondary infection and that's what usually causes complications and death. Otherwise, you can probably recover without medical care.

H1N1 Severity

As more and more data becomes availble, it's becoming clearer that H1N1 is no more severe than seasonal flu. It's starting to look like it's less severe. An average of 35,000 people die every year in the U.S. from seasonal flu. They are usually infants, the elderly, have underlying health conditions or are otherwise immune-compromised. This is largely the case with H1N1 (except that the elderly are generally not even contracting H1N1), though more people in non-risk groups have died than is normally seen with seasonal flu.

Given that the majority of the population has no immunity to H1N1, it's likely that more than 33% of the population will end up getting it. So the overall number of deaths from flu will probably increase this year. But your individual odds of dying if you get H1N1 aren't any higher than if you get seasonal flu.

H1N1 Transmission

Only 8-12% of household members of those diagnosed with the flu (including H1N1) develop it themselves. It's not that contagious. Considering that while you probably spend as much time with your coworkers as your family, you probably don't wipe snot off their faces, pick up their used tissues, kiss them, or drink out of their glasses. In otherwords, if someone at work gets H1N1, there's no reason to freak out.

Final thoughts

There is SO much misinformation on the web. Please don't make decisions about your health or that of your children based on what you read on message boards (even this post!), YouTube, or even the mainstream media (remember that scare tactics and hype sell newspapers). If you don't trust the government, there are many other reliable sources of information.

On a personal note, there's a pretty good chance I had H1N1 in August (I didn't go to the doctor at first, so I never got tested). I was on my ass in bed for three straight days and felt sick for a solid week. I got better for a couple of days and then developed bronchitis. When it was all said and done, I was sick for three full weeks. Availability of the vaccine in my area has been extremely limited, even to the high risk group, until last week. Even though the case rate has declined dramatically in our area over the last few weeks, flu season doesn't usually peak here until January or February, so they are expecting a third wave then. We're all our vaccinations on Monday (even me, because I could have just had a bad respiratory infection in August).

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