Beginners and Beyond

Flu shot.....Yea or Nay??? (Read 579 times)


    First, I think it's sad to hear so many reported deaths. I'm not sure how much more compared to previous seasons, but it's still sad none the less.


    To answer the question: I don't get the flu shot any longer. When I worked as an Addictions Counselor years ago for a local county detox it was sort of an asset to get the flu shot. I also made trips twice per month to the local homeless shelters and so I took advantage of all types of  what was offered to employees to protect yourself from an outbreak of any kind. I don't work in that type of high risk environment any more and so I haven't seen the need to get the shots. I've had the flu twice in 20 years. Once when I was in middle school and the second time was  back in 2010 when I came back from a Christmas cruise. I'm pretty healthy and rarely sick, so I don't need it.


    Side rant: I just saw a clip on the CBS Evening news this week where a parent took a video of their son suffering from the flu to which he died the next day. They aired it on the show. Why in the world would a parent do that? Disapprove

    Half Fanatic  #3091  ~   Marathon debut: 11/16/13 Anthem Richmond Marathon

    "Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious." - Rumi


      I was thinking about this today.  Now first of all, I never get sick, perhaps once every few years, so this doesn't really apply to me much (Except that my wife is the opposite and gets hit hard every flu season, usually several times)  We are both in the Navy, so we are both 'mandated' to get flu shots.  We have to get them for the past 8 years or so.


      But here is the thing:  I still never get sick in the post-flu shot era, but the wife still gets slammed multiple times each flu season!  Nothing seems to have changed for either of us.


      ---To finalize my thought here, it was mentioned today that we are in an "Epidemic" flu season this year.  (So much so that they are running out of vaccines).  BUT... We have been in an "Epidemic" the majority of recent years!    And now I apply my basic logic skills..... 


      1)  The majority of the folks in the USA get flu shots.  

      2)  The press indicates that the flu shots will protect you from this years bugs!  The flu shot this year is even described as being the counter to the big bug going around right now. These shots would theoretically revent 'epidemic' levels from being reached if they were truly effective since a majority of the population takes them. 


      So... Why then are we at a point still where:


      3)  Almost every single year we still hit flu "Epidemic" levels, even now that we have these 'effective' shots available?


      (Will someone please answer that question for me?   :-)  

      And PS. Sorry post is so long.  

      And PSS. (not too sorry apparently?!) Anyway :-),  Looked back at a page and saw the use of a medication called "Oscillococcinum", all I can say is wow to that name for a drug!  No such thing as "Flu-Eze" or "Stop-a-Flu", these drug companies came up with:  Oscillococcinum!  Well, forget the name, glad it helped you out :-)  Oscillococcinum, I would love to be a fly in the boardroom of folks who were tossing the drug names around and came up with that whopper!  :-)  (Okay, I'll admit... If I were prone to the flu...I'd give it a shot on name alone...:-)


      The Plan '15 →   ///    "Run Hard, Live Easy."   ∞


        I am getting my shot tomorrow night (took 2 months to get an appt with a new PCP) and have been getting it for years. I always got it hours after a run previously. I have a group run planned a few hours after this time, so am curious how this goes.

        Jnfr Jogs

          I had read about this a while ago - homeopathic over the counter stuff.  Not for me, thanks. This is from a Wikipedia blurb.


          Oscillococcinum (commonly shortened to Oscillo[1]) is a homeopathic alternative medicine marketed to relieve influenza-like symptoms. It is a popular homeopathic preparation, particularly in France. Oscillococcinum is manufactured by a French company, Boiron, its sole manufacturer. There are, however, other manufacturers who make similar preparations. Oscillococcinum is used in more than 50 countries. In France, it has been in production for over 65 years.

          The preparation is derived from duck liver and heart, diluted to 200C—a ratio of one part duck offal to 10400parts water.[2] This is such a high dilution that the final product likely contains not a single molecule of the original liver. Homeopaths claim that the molecules leave an "imprint" in the dilution that causes a healing effect on the body, although there is no evidence that supports this mechanism or efficacy beyond placebo.[3][4][5]

          A class action lawsuit on behalf of customers who purchased Oscillococcinum has been filed against Boiron in the United States, alleging that Boiron falsely advertises that Oscillo has the ability to cure the flu.[6][7]


            You get the flu vaccine to protect yourself as well as those people around you.   While the vaccine may be less than perfect, think of it this way:


            • If the vaccination protects you from the flu, then you're not going to spread it to the people you live or work with.


            • If the people you live or work with have been vaccinated and don't get the flu, then they won't spread it to you or your loved ones.


            However, if you live alone in the Antarctic and have no friends, then maybe what you choose doesn't really matter.


              Per the CDC report. Looks like we have peaked, though we need 2-3 weeks more to be sure. (red line)



              To KLD:

              Yes the majority of folks do take a vaccine, but in a typical year its in the 50's percentage wise, so certainly not an overwhelming number.

              The vaccine is well matched this year, which , gives roughly 60% protection for those strains.


              Combine those two numbers (call it 45% not vaccinated and 55% vaccinated at 60% effectiveness), that leaves about 67%  of people vulnerable, more than enough to carry an epidemic.



              Flu vaccine is unique amongst vaccinations due to the rapid antigenic drift and shifts present in that particular virus. (A vaccine for something like measles has a very very much higher success rate)



              The epidemic threshold is somewhat arbitrary, like all these classifications, this illustrates the situation much better.


              Look at the start of the graph, see how far 2008 is above the threshold. (end of 2007-2008 season)

              2008-2009 spiked over the threshold a couple of times, but really wasn't a bad season, it was really noise in the data that pushed it over threshold.

              2009-2010 was well above threshold, mainly because of the timing (season hit early). The fact that it leveled off after the early jump was unusual.

              2010-2011 has a spike over at the peak of the season which lasted a few weeks.

              2011-2012 basically fluctuated over due to noise (same as 2008-2009)


              Its really only an epidemic if you get above the threshold and stay there for a few weeks.


              At the end of the season, when the results are all in, this will probably come out as a moderately severe season.

              5K  20:23  (Vdot 48.7)   9/9/17

              10K  44:06  (Vdot 46.3)  3/11/17

              HM 1:33:48 (Vdot 48.6) 11/11/17

              FM 4:24:33 (Vdot 33.6) 11/8/14



              Smaller By The Day

                It looks like we've spent as much or more time this season below the seasonal average, as we've spent above the "epidemic" line.  You wouldn't guess that by watching the news.  I was watching the news yesterday, and they almost convinced me that I'd been killed by the flu twice, and if I just opened my front door I'd see an apocalyptic scene of flu infected zombies wandering the streets, and moaning, "I SHOULD HAVE GOT THE SHOOOOTTTT".   I switched over to ESPN, and remembered that my friends and family are all doing just fine.  Calm down people.


                Weight 100 pounds lost

                5K 31:02 Sept. 2012 / 23:36 Sept. 2013 (Same Course)

                10K 48:59 April 2013

                HM 2:03:56 Nov. 2012 / 1:46:50 March 2013

                MARATHON 3:57:33 Nov. 2013


                Caretaker/Overlook Hotel

                  Day 6 (I think....right?). Anyway, yesterday was physically good but dentally a nightmare......


                  I had written off sore gums to being sick.......ya know how sometimes your "everything" hurts when you're really sick (a la flu)???  Well, as I started feeling better, I pinpointed the pain in my mouth to 1 tooth in particular.  It was a crown done by the best with the best (Procera) and I would have hoped I'd never have trouble with that sucker but I did.  Xrays showed nothing wrong.  Root good.  No abscess.  Seal good.  But he noticed a pocket at the gum line had trapped some stuff so he cleaned that out extensively (aaaaaargh!!) and told me I should be fine.


                  Hot and cold along with pressure still drive it nuts but feeling a little better this morning.  He told me to give it a few days to heal up.


                  Anyway, I'm over being sick, hurt, etc.  I just want to be done with this now and get back to running.


                  Since I'm physically feeling stronger I'm sooooo tempted to at least hop on the treadmill again, but I still feel some stuff in my lungs and am fearful.


                  Anybody wanna tell me to give it a try anyway? (har har).


                  I can't remember how close to "coming off a cough" I started back before.


                  P.S.  thanks too, forlistening to me whine.....I need to complain to somebody...l..y'all win!



                    I had my shot yesterday so am ready to deal with whatever is left of the flu season. 18 people have died in MA this year.


                    Caretaker/Overlook Hotel

                      Day's been 1 week since I woke up to this nightmare.


                      Last night I did a bad thing and went for a 10 minute run on the treadmill.  I did not feel geat during or after but my legs appreciated it.


                      I also did some pushups, pull ups and dumbbell squats as a warmup to it.  My body thanks me for it but my lungs don't.  I'm not any worse and if anything probably feel my best today or at least no worse than yesterday but I was going to tap dance a hole in the carpet if I didn't least at least 10 minutes of bounce in my step.


                      Still coughing and nasally this morning but hoping I'm getting ready to show this thing the door.  I'm over it!



                      Proud Calgarian

                        Nope, never got it. Kids are older and I don't ride public transit (read: nobody sneezes in my face) and I don't catch much of anything.

                        2015 Goals and PRs:

                        5k - 17:59 (18:05);  10k - 35:59 (36:42);   HM - 1:19:19 (1:19:59);   FM - 2:49:59 (3:05:46)


                        Caretaker/Overlook Hotel

                          Day 13......


                          I think I'm going running tonight.  I'm feeling physically pretty good, just a little congestion in the lungs still, but very residual and not affecting my ability to do stuff.  I worked in the yard over the weekend


                          (Thanks to Buelligan, for your leaf-raking comments in an old thread over on the RWBF) Wink


                          I'm probably gonna keep it indoors to keep the temps/humidity controlled but I'm definitely ready.  Strength-wise, I'm ready to jump out of my skin and had a solid weight workout 2 nights ago.


                          Let's see if I can screw this up!





                            Just go easy.


                            The virus will have done a number on your endurance, you will certainly feel it when running.

                            5K  20:23  (Vdot 48.7)   9/9/17

                            10K  44:06  (Vdot 46.3)  3/11/17

                            HM 1:33:48 (Vdot 48.6) 11/11/17

                            FM 4:24:33 (Vdot 33.6) 11/8/14



                            Caretaker/Overlook Hotel

                              Ok, back from my run.  Haven't run just 3 in a while and had my route screwed up so ended up 3.5.  Great for the ego but my lungs could have done with less.  Anyway, all's well and I'm still alive.


                              I didn't look at my Garmin the whole time and recorded 9:52, 9:50 and 9:47 with a 9:07 for that last half mile pace which is good enough for me.  Don't need to get back to the 8's in any hurry.


                              Coughed and choked a bit right after I stopped running (funny how I wasn't coughing *while* I was running).  But back to resting heart rate and breathing rate and feeling pretty good.  Glad I got back in the saddle.


                              As for the flu shot?  My boss who berated me 2 weeks ago cuz I hadn't got it is now suffering himself from 900 miles away.  LOL. Not that I won't get the flu shot next year but thought that was semi poetic if not ironic.