Social Question

silverfly's avatar

Is there an ulterior motive to the flu shot?

Asked by silverfly (4025 points ) October 5th, 2011

Get your flu shot! Flu shots now available without appointment!

Why are flu shots so abundant and so readily available? It seems to get worse every year. You can even get one at your local grocery store which isn’t news but still disturbing to me.

Certainly there has to be a monetary or other factor in promoting the flu shot. Or are these companies genuinely interested in vaccinating people?

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75 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Oh my god, seriously? No, there isn’t. There are more readily available so that more people will get them, improving herd immunity.

Blackberry's avatar

Yes. It’s Obama. Is that what you wanted to hear?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Blackberry Yes, that’s been his plan all along – keep all the elderly and children safe ‘cause no one else will vote for him.

chyna's avatar

It’s not a scam. If a flu epidemic erupted, thousands could, and have in the past, die.

wundayatta's avatar

I think it is hard to get companies to make the stuff since they lose money on it. That’s why there used to be shortages. I’m not sure why they’ve managed to create a decent supply.

In any case, flu shots are entirely voluntary, so I don’t see what a hidden agenda could be.

I’ve been getting mine every year, and it definitely seems to slow down the spread of flu in my community and in the workplace (which gives them out for free). I work at a university, by the way, and you’d think they’d be smart enough not to waste money like this. Especially since the university has a medical college.

lillycoyote's avatar

No ulterior motive. Thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of people die in the U.S. every year from the flu, and hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized, depending on the season. In one of the worst flue seasons recently, 2003–2004, The CDC estimates almost 50,000 people died from the flu and complications from the flue. It’s a pretty serious illness. If it can be prevented, if the deaths and hospitalizations can be prevented, why not?

gailcalled's avatar

I have my shot scheduled for early Nov. and guess what? I am sitting here, running a fever, aching, sweating and waiting for my eyeballs to fall on the keyboard.

TexasDude's avatar

In 1918, the flu killed a shit ton of people.

Now that we have the vaccine, deaths are significantly minimized. The flu vaccine is cheap and readily available, and if everyone is immunized annually, it saves a ton on healthcare costs, which is good for everyone.

Or they are just making our bodies more susceptible to chemtrails dropped by the illuminati lizard people.

Take your pick.

chyna's avatar

@gailcalled Could you get pics of your eyeballs hitting the keyboard and post please?

I had my flu shot early this year. I have had a flu shot for the past 20 years.

jaytkay's avatar

I get a flu shot every year. My anti-vax friends and their kids get the flu. Happens almost every year, like clockwork.

TexasDude's avatar

@jaytkay who woulda thunk it?

GabrielsLamb's avatar

Yes! *Evil plot type music

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXLMuvVQg54&feature=fvst <———————HERE!

*Sorry dude, it’s the first thing I came across… *They don’t have much under “Evil plot music” on youtube.

And that evil plot is…

You have to actually get the flu, in order to get rid of it by your bodies own natural immunity.

Sinister… isn’t it? <—————*Said in my very best Bugs Bunny voice. TM.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I don’t really think the OP was necessarily implying that it was a scam.

I think there is always financial interest behind any medication or vaccine. Most likely someone is making a profit, but I don’t think this is exclusive to the flu shot.

silverfly's avatar

Wow, unanimous “no ulterior motive”. I’ll take my chances with the flu, screw the shot.

Blackberry's avatar

Yeah, because we’re all completely inaccurate…...

silverfly's avatar

Not necessarily… I just don’t trust it especially when it’s so heavily advertised.

Coloma's avatar

No. I don’t think it’s a scam, I think it’s a damn good idea, considering how dangerous the flu can be.
All I know is that I haven’t had a killer flu in 5 years. I got my first, and now annual flu shot after being completely wasted on a road trip in 2006. Yeah, spending 4 days near death in a hotel room in the middle of bumfuck nowhere New Mexico, that made me a convert. lol

silverfly's avatar

::laughs:: with @Coloma Yeah, I did have it one year during Christmas and I was miserable. Call me crazy for trying to take a more natural approach. I’ll probably get it this year and you can all point and laugh at my cynicism.

Blackberry's avatar

Guess what else is heavily advertised? Clothing, because we have to wear it to function in society.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I didn’t think they even recommended the flu shot to people who aren’t considered “high-risk.” Infants, the elderly, people with compromised immune systems, those working in the medical field.. etc?

silverfly's avatar

@Blackberry So is beer, but we don’t need that.

Coloma's avatar

@silverfly

I am into anything that keeps me healthy. I get a flu shot and I take all sorts of natural remedies too. :-)

Blackberry's avatar

@silverfly Touche. You may have won the battle, but the war is still on! :P

silverfly's avatar

::laughs::

SpatzieLover's avatar

Go figure…every year they’ve been short on the vax and I haven’t gotten mine I get the flu.

silverfly's avatar

@SpatzieLover Doh! I guess I’ve been lucky.

Blueroses's avatar

I don’t get the vaccination, mainly because I have to be physically restrained (no joke) before anyone can approach me with a needle. Fortunately, I was blessed with a kickass immune system and very rarely get seriously ill. If that changes, I’ll suck it up and get the shot.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Blueroses Me too. My immune system kicks ass too, god bless it. I like to exercise it too. No germ phobia for me! Bring it on! I want my immune system to see a virus or bacteria and say “You don’t scare me! I’ve seen you before! You were the one growing behind my toilet once and I’m immune to you now. Back off!” That’s basically the principle behind vaccines and immunization anyway, isn’t it? :-)

Jude's avatar

Like @Blueroses, my g/f never gets sick. She often has a messy place, “science experiments” in her fridge and petrified French Fries in her car. She calls it ‘Nature’s Antibiotic.”

Prosb's avatar

I’ve been incredibly lazy about it, and haven’t gotten a flu shot for the last decade.
I also have not gotten the flu for the past decade, or a few years beforehand either.
I’m not saying it’s a bad idea. I think a major reason I haven’t been getting sick is because of other people regularly getting their shots and keeping it from spreading more than it has to.
But, until I end up in a situation like @Coloma,‘s I probably won’t be bothering converting either.

augustlan's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf No, they recommend it for just about everybody these days, to protect those of us most at risk. I’m one of those people who could die if I catch the flu. Luckily, I am able to take the flu vaccine (and do, every year), but some people aren’t. It’s up to all of us to do our part to keep everyone safe.

**Disclaimer: I have caught the flu, and haven’t died so far. ;)

Coloma's avatar

@Prosb

Let me tell you..it was no laughing matter, infact, the guy I was in a relationship with at the time got it first, and, well, after a week in a hotel with a sick man, me getting sick, he being a complete weenie baby and, still having 3 more states to explore, well…lets just say, the relationship failed the road test. haha

Flu shots can save relationships too I think. lol

DominicX's avatar

I doubt there’s an ulterior motive, but to be honest I haven’t gotten the flu shot the last couple of years. I just don’t really care :\

augustlan's avatar

@DominicX doesn’t care if I die! <sobs>

JilltheTooth's avatar

Hey! The season must have changed! This is the first “flu shot” argument of the Fall, complete with snide remarks. Just waiting for the leaves to turn, then it will be official.

jaytkay's avatar

my g/f never gets sick. She often has a messy place, “science experiments” in her fridge and petrified French Fries in her car. She calls it ‘Nature’s Antibiotic.”

The flu is a virus. Antibiotics have no effect on viruses.

Antibiotics fight bacteria.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@jaytkay : Do you really not get that @Jude‘s g/f was just being metaphorical while referring to her enhanced immune system?

wundayatta's avatar

I would like to point out that the flu shot is not always very accurate. They do their best to predict which flue will make its way out of Asia this year, but they don’t always get it right. Asia tends to be a birthing ground for flus—I think one reason is all the kinds of wild animals they eat that they also keep in close proximity to where they live. I think merkats are particularly a problem, but I’m not sure I’m remembering that correctly.

Anyway, getting the flu shot does not guarantee protection and so you may be left relying on your own immune system.

I do not recall ever getting the flu before I started taking the shot. But my memory only extends back so far. Maybe when I was a kid… I have had one day stomach flus, but those don’t count, do they? We’re talking the week long, fever and headache things, right? I could do without that.

gailcalled's avatar

^^ You’re describing how I feel right now. My shot is scheduled for early Nov. I feel as though someone is inside my head and pushing on my eyeballs with his thumbs.

Mariah's avatar

A lot of people have a knee-jerk reaction to the “unnaturalness” of getting vaccinated. I just want to point out that natural does not necessarily equal good. Back when we treated diseases “naturally” a whole hell of a lot more people died from them.

Jude's avatar

@jaytkay Listen to the tooth. :)

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Jude : Wisdom tooth? ;-)

Jude's avatar

Snuggly-buggly wisdom tooth, yes.

Coloma's avatar

@gailcalled

You have the flu now?

I’m SO sorry!

Yes, I usually get mine around the first of November, but, might move it up a few weeks,

@wundayatta

True, no 100% predicting which strain might hit the hardest, one can only hope.

wundayatta's avatar

@Coloma It’s much less than 100%. Not sure what it is, but probably less than 70% is my impression.

Coloma's avatar

@wundayatta

Well, maybe 60% effective and 40% a psychological placebo effect. ;-)
Think it to be true and it is, lol

jaytkay's avatar

@JilltheTooth Do you really not get that @Jude‘s g/f was just being metaphorical while referring to her enhanced immune system?

Actually, the gf’s “don’t keep your environment too clean” tactic makes sense for bacteria (but not viruses).

MayoClinic.com “Using antibacterial soap may even lead to the development of bacteria that are resistant to the product’s antimicrobial agents — making it harder to kill these germs in the future. ”

Mariah's avatar

@wundayatta A 70% chance of being protected from the flu is better than what you have if you don’t get vaccinated…it’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@jaytkay : It’s about enhancing the immune system all around, not just resistance to bacteria. The body fights viruses all the time. If the immune system is stronger, for whatever reason, it will battle the viruses more effectively as well as various bacterial infections.

Coloma's avatar

I traveled in asia in 20110 and just before I left I read that Taiwan was expecting a wave of H1N1 for the many residents that were not vaccinated. I had my shot exactly 2 weeks before I traveled and no issue. Everyone was wearing masks in the city, some just because of pollution, but, cruising around on the Taipei metro system I’d say 4 out of 5 people were wearing masks. I skated on by, no problems with anything. :-D

Coloma's avatar

“20110”...yep, I have a time machine! lol

wundayatta's avatar

@Mariah I totally agree. I’m just saying people should not expect it to be anywhere near perfect.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] This is our Question of the Day!

The_Idler's avatar

Yes, the Establishment wants to keep you alive, so you can serve them longer.

If you really want to fuck them over, don’t buy anything that is “advertised” at all,
or indeed anything sold at the grocer’s.

Especially food.

They’ll have a hard time enslaving you, once you’re dead.

silverfly's avatar

You’re a sarcastic lot. I’ve never used that word before. :)

The_Idler's avatar

Mate, I was being serious.

If I was kidding, I’d have told you they were doing it out of the goodness of their hearts.

silverfly's avatar

So you’re actually suggesting I stop eating food? That sounds pretty sarcastic… no?

lillycoyote's avatar

If they really wanted to profit off of us they wouldn’t make vaccines at all. Vaccines help prevent us from getting sick in the first place; there is much more money to be made in letting us all get sick and then selling us treatments and medical services to help manage the disease. I mean, polio and small pox could be quite a profitable little businesses in terms of treatment and aftercare if the medical community hadn’t gone off and decided to make vaccines that pretty much wiped them out. The flu is a bit different, though, as @wundayatta points out. The flu is kind of a moving target when it comes to vaccines. They just have to do their best to predict the future, what kind of flu is most likely to occur in the next flu season, manufacture the vaccine based on their best predictions and hope it works out.

Nullo's avatar

Yes, to keep the population healthy. The flu can kill you, if you’re At Risk or don’t know how to handle having the flu.

You know what’s really sinister? The Smallpox Eradication. Just wiped those poor little bugs right out. As far as anybody knows, we’re one sample away from total extinction.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Nullo Yes, that was a diabolical conspiracy, wasn’t it? How on earth did we let them get away with that?

Nullo's avatar

@lillycoyote Damned if I know.

In hindsight, my derision was premature. The grocery stores et al. are benefitting, but not in immediate cash. Rather, they are doing it for the image. Somebody got the idea to offer flu shots at the pharmacy, and it improves the company image. It caught on, and we’re getting to the point where it’s almost necessary, in order to keep from coming off as a heartless jerk of a company.

So. Vaccine > good image > shopper bonhomies > more shoppers shopping more > more money. Instead of vaccine > money.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Nullo All I know is that I prefer not being infected with smallpox and polio to being infected with smallpox and polio. That is my position, my stand on this matter, and I’m standing firm.

The_Idler's avatar

@silverfly, You’ve probably never experienced sarcasm in your life, I was merely being facetious.

The analogy with buying food (which is also heavily advertised and encouraged by the government as ‘healthy’), was a condensed “reductio ad absurdum” argument, demonstrating the, well, absurdity of your suggestion that those two properties of vaccinations are good reasons to reject them.

I find it difficult to believe you could misunderstand me so.
You are rejecting vaccination, because you suspect those encouraging it have ‘ulterior motives’.
I agree in one respect, the Establishment encourages it, solely because it is in their interest for us to live and serve them longer.
Not out of the goodness of their hearts.
That would just be silly.

Now, there are other things they encourage for exactly the same ulterior motive, such as eating healthy food, wearing seatbelts and not doing meth.
If you have issue with the Establishment’s ulterior motive, as you seem to, the best way to counter it would be to do the opposite of what they suggest, as you have done in one case.

Once we adopt your logic in every case, and we’re all dead, the Establishment will have no meaning, and their perfidious aims will have been averted.

If this is not your intention, why else would you reject it, and what relevance has the fact that it is widely available and encouraged as healthy?

silverfly's avatar

@The_Idler Well said, sir. I have no other response and now fully understand your previous comment.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

@silverfly Virtual Hugs…. And real Luvre +1 X 6

gailcalled's avatar

Well, I have the flu now and it’s very nasty. Is this caused by a conspiracy to introduce the flu virus into my air supply and make me miserable, thus guaranteeing that I will get the shot, as scheduled (too little and too late) in early Nov?

If I were in really bad health, this virus could be seriously serious or even lethal, rather than really unconfortable and moderately debilitating for only a week or so.

silverfly's avatar

So, it seems like (and I could be wrong) you’re all saying that flu shots are good things?
jk

I think I tend to see the world in a very cynical way where I distrust everyone and question everything. Glad I have jellies to bring me back down to earth.

gailcalled's avatar

The poet, Mary Oliver, says, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Balance that against “I distrust everyone and question everthing.” Unless you are using hyperbole as a rhetorical device, that is an alarming statement. Everyone? Everything?

silverfly's avatar

Not everyone, but I do question nearly everything. I don’t see the questioning as such a bad thing though… I think it’s important.

gailcalled's avatar

Indeed, everyone should examine and question but you can do that without the blanket statement that you just made

silverfly's avatar

Pshh. Blanket statements are always the best. ;-)

Mariah's avatar

@silverfly Plenty of us questioning types are pro-vax. Why? Because the questions have been asked – by scientists – and answered – by studies, which all show that vaccines are beneficial.

Mariah's avatar

Oops, I thought this was the recent question. Well this is awkward.

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