Social Question

AmWiser's avatar

Have You Gotten Your Flu Shot Yet?

Asked by AmWiser (14927points) October 7th, 2010

Flu can be a nasty illness, and can leave you open to more serious infection, like pneumonia, or maybe worse.

Will you get a flu shot this year?
If not, why?
Have you ever neglected to get a flu shot, and then had the flu as a result?

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120 Answers

Carly's avatar

I never get it. I’ve never gotten the flu. I’ve been around many people who have had it, even my own sister, but I don’t seem to contract it.

JustmeAman's avatar

I avoid the shots because I think they are not good to get at least for me. I have discovered that every year I get the shot I get the flu and most years I don’t get the shot I don’t get the flu. If you eat right, keep your health up, exercise, etc… then chances are you won’t get the flu. If your health is bad and you are often sick then I would say get the flu shot.

Deja_vu's avatar

Nope, I can’t remeber the last time I had a flu shot.

muppetish's avatar

I don’t get flu shots. I haven’t had the flu since I was in primary school (when I used to get them twice a year: mid-autumn and then again around the holidays… bleh.)

marinelife's avatar

Yes, I have had my flu shot.

deni's avatar

Scam! No, and I never will. I don’t get it to begin with. I don’t need a bunch of fake shit in my body that is more likely to make me sick than not getting the shot. I can’t believe anyone gets it.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I only had it once, and I got sick. I know it wasn’t the flu, they use a killed virus for that, but I think the process of my body “defending” itself (making antibodies, etc.) weakened me enough to cause some secondary infection to sneak in. My immune system is pretty tough, I don’t worry. (Now that I’ve made this boastful claim, I’m sure Mr. Murphy will step in and punish me with a bout of flu….)

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

Nope. I want to get the flu. no sarcasm intended

Aster's avatar

No way. I got very sick the last time I got one-in 1988. Sick as a dog for weeks! I stay home a lot or wash my hands as soon as I walk in the door. Who knows whats IN that stuff? They don’t tell.

Judi's avatar

Yes and I proceded to barf for the next two days! Not fun at all!!!

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

No,I won’t get a flu shot and I never will.

crisw's avatar

Getting it today. I get it every year. I work for schools- I am exposed to lots and lots of germs.

As for all the naysayers, most anti-vaccine people are running on pure speculation and assumption rather than fact. The flu vaccine is up to 1000 tmes safer than having the flu.

crisw's avatar

@Aster

“Who knows whats IN that stuff? They don’t tell.”

Avtually, the ingredient lists for vaccines are easily available. They do tell, because some people have legitimate reasons to avoid certain vaccines, such as egg allergy.

NinjaBiscuit's avatar

I got the flu shot ONCE when I was in middle school and I got incredibly sick from it. Never got the flu shot again. Then again I don’t do any vaccinations now, and never will. They are unnecessary. My son has not had one vaccine since he’s been born and he’s just as healthy as the next kid. We eat right, keep our bodies in tip top fighting condition, and if a sickness comes around? We help with natural remedies our family doctor recommends and mainly let our bodies do what they are naturally made to do, fight off the illness using its own defenses.

Too many people are quick to cover up sickness with fake pharmaceutical crap that teaches our bodies to depend on them and thus weakening our own immune systems. Plus they only cover up the symptoms and not fight off the main cause of the sickness.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Nope. Every year that I’ve gotten the flu shot, I’ve gotten the flu multiple times. I came down with the H1N1 flu, and it was a really crappy week, but then I was better. I’d rather take my chances and possibly build up my immune system for free instead of deal with the lines and the doctor’s offices and the insane panic over if there’ll be enough for a shot that doesn’t protect me as much as I want.

Aster's avatar

@crisw what do you mean, they DO tell? Have you ever read the label or asked the nurse what was in it and received a detailed answer? Where can I read an ingredients list now?

faye's avatar

I don’t get it because I’ve never had flu. And now I’m mostly home- no worries.

marinelife's avatar

@NinjaBiscuit You are riding on the wave of other children who have been vaccinated. That is why your son has never been sick.

@crisw Thank you for a whiff of sanity in an insane thread.

alovehangoverr's avatar

I got the flu shot. It was offered free through my work.

I’ve heard others have gotten sick from it—but honestly, it was a risk I was willing to take. I got the flu couple years ago & I was sick for months. I seriously felt like I was dying. Anything to avoid that again is worth it to me.

downtide's avatar

In the UK flu shots are only available to people in “at risk” groups – the young, the elderly, people with chronic illness, and people who work in the medical profession. So I couldn’t get one anyway. And I wouldn’t bother if I could: I have a good healthy immune system. I did get swine flu last year and I was off work for a couple of weeks but compared to how ill some people get, I had it light.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@downtide See, I would get it if I was at risk. But I’m not, so why bother?

NinjaBiscuit's avatar

@marinelife He’s with my mother in law (who’s entire family don’t do vaccinations) during the day while I work, and I’m at a church that over 90% of the congregation doesn’t get any type of vaccinations either (and I think we’re there more than we are at home.) So I highly doubt he’s ‘riding on that vaccination protection wave’.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I get the flu shot every year and this year won’t be any different. I have asthma and last year I ended up getting the flu very early in the season (before I got my flu shot) and I was sick for 2 weeks. I got my flu shot a few weeks after I was better. I could hardly get out of bed and just walking up or down the stairs sent me into an asthma attack.

crisw's avatar

@marinelife

Thank you. I am thoroughly sick of and disgusted with the anti-vaxers- they are killing people with their horrible, illogical, fear-driven advice. Not only their own children, but the children of others that their unvaccinated offspring expose to diseases.

@Aster

“Where can I read an ingredients list now?”

Try looking. :>)

Here’s FluMist, for example:
“Each pre-filled refrigerated FluMist sprayer contains a single 0.2 mL dose. Each 0.2 mL dose contains 106.5–7.5 FFU of live attenuated influenza virus reassortants of each of the three strains: A/California/7/2009 (H1N1), A/Perth/16/2009 (H3N2), and B/Brisbane/60/2008. Each 0.2 mL dose also contains 0.188 mg/dose monosodium glutamate, 2.00 mg/dose hydrolyzed porcine gelatin, 2.42 mg/dose arginine, 13.68 mg/dose sucrose, 2.26 mg/dose dibasic potassium phosphate, 0.96 mg/dose monobasic potassium phosphate, and <0.015 mcg/mL gentamicin sulfate. FluMist contains no preservatives.”

crisw's avatar

@Aster

Oh, and just in case you say, “But that’s not an injectable vaccine”, here is the ingredient list for an injectable flu vaccine :

VAXIGRIP® contains the following strains of influenza virus:  A/ California/7/2009 NYMC X-179A (A/California/7/2009 [H1N1] – like),  A/ Wisconsin/15/2009 NYMC X-183 (A/Perth/16/2009 [H3N2] – like), and  B/ Brisbane/60/2008 (B/Brisbane/60/2008 – like)
Each 0.5 mL pre-filled syringe contains 15 mcg haemagglutinin of each of the 3 strains in a buffered saline solution. A buffered saline solution contains the following excipients – sodium chloride, potassium chloride, sodium phosphate – dibasic dihydrate, potassium phosphate – monobasic and water for injection.
The vaccine is prepared from virus grown in the allantoic cavity of embryonated eggs, concentrated, purified by zonal centrifugation in a sucrose gradient, split by octoxinol 9 (Triton X-100), inactivated by formaldehyde and then diluted in phosphate buffered saline solution to the required concentration. No adjuvant or preservative is added. The vaccine may contain traces of formaldehyde (≤ 30 mcg), octoxinol 9 (≤ 150 mcg) and neomycin (< 20 picogram). VAXIGRIP® does not contain more than 0.05 mcg ovalbumin per dose.

So can we agree that “They don’t tell” is untrue?

NinjaBiscuit's avatar

@crisw The do tell you what’s in them, that’s very true. It’s the fact that with most vaccines you have to sign a paper stating that you know the ingredients and know the RISKS of taking it is beyond unnerving.

deni's avatar

Anyone noticing a pattern, and how many people have gotten sick from taking the shot? If the probability is 50/50 that you’ll not get sick after getting the shot, what is the point?!?!!?!? That’s the probability in the first place!

crisw's avatar

@NinjaBiscuit

“It’s the fact that with most vaccines you have to sign a paper stating that you know the ingredients and know the RISKS of taking it is beyond unnerving.”

I am going on a bike ride this weekend to raise money for breast cancer treatment. I have to sign a waiver saying I know cycling can be dangerous. I went on a trip last year on a pontoon boat to see sea otters. I had to sign a waiver. I took a woodshop class. Guess what- another waiver.

This is a litigious society, and the existence of waivers tells us much more about what we fear than what will actually cause us harm.

crisw's avatar

@deni

“Anyone noticing a pattern, and how many people have gotten sick from taking the shot? ”

No. The vast, vast majority of people who had no problem whatsoever with the flu shot aren’t here. This is biased reporting. Nor have those who claim to have gotten ill from the shot actually shown evidence that it was the shot that caused their problems, and not just a coincidence.

In actual scientific studies, the rate of adverse reactions to flu vaccine is low, and severe reactions are very rare. As I mentioned above, getting the flu is much more dangerous than getting the flu shot.

NinjaBiscuit's avatar

@crisw The fact that I have to sign a waver stating I know how dangerous an unnatural substance is that I have to inject into my body vs. knowing exactly what I put into my body to help it naturally and have no bad side effects from it is enough to deter me from using the former.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Just for the record, I don’t think there has ever been a year I missed getting the flu shot and I have never had a problem with them up to this point in time. I’m 29 now, so that’s a lot of years of flu shots and no problems right there. My son has gotten the flu shot every year as well and has not had any problems either. He will get one this year as well because he has asthma.

@NinjaBiscuit What you are signing most likely isn’t a waiver, it’s a consent form saying you are allowing the nurse (or whoever is giving it to you) to give you the injection. From all the forms I have signed, none of them have actually been waivers of any kind. None of them say I am waving my right if anything bad happens, they are just me saying I am aware of the risks and I give the doctor’s office permission to give me the injection.

marinelife's avatar

@NinjaBiscuit The lack of disease is because of generations of vaccinated children. Still, you are playing Russian Roulette with your child’s health, because while outbreaks of communicable diseases are rare now, the disease germs are out there.

“Diphtheria affects people of all ages, but most often it strikes unimmunized children. In temperate climates, diphtheria tends to occur during the colder months. In 2000, 30 000 cases and 3000 deaths of diphtheria were reported worldwide.” WHO

” Measles deaths worldwide fell by 78 percent during this decade, dropping from an estimated 733,000 in 2000 to 164,000 in 2008, according to a new report released today by the Measles Initiative.

Vaccinating nearly 700 million children against measles, through large-scale immunization campaigns and increased routine immunization coverage, has prevented an estimated 4.3 million measles deaths in less than a decade.” American Red Cross

“This study found that from 1990 through 2001, 1,465 death records listed chickenpox as the cause or a contributing cause of death. Chickenpox-related deaths averaged 145 per year from 1990 through 1994 (before the vaccine was licensed) and declined to 66 per year from 1999 through 2001 (when the vaccine was being used).

The decline in deaths due to chickenpox was noted in all age groups less than 50 years of age, but especially in children 1 to 4 years of age.” Source

deni's avatar

Exactly @NinjaBiscuit. I’ve never had the flu in my life, and I’ve never had the shot in my life, so I’m doing just as well as all those who do get the shot and don’t get the flu, except I don’t have unnatural and potentially unhealthy substances floating around my blood.

marinelife's avatar

@deni What I have floating around in my blood are naturally formed antibodies that will help me fight the flu bug should it strike.

crisw's avatar

@marinelife

You just beat me to it!

I find that anti-vaxers usually haven’t the vaguest idea how immunity works.

deni's avatar

@crisw how is it we stay so healthy without all that mumbo jumbo then? :)

NinjaBiscuit's avatar

@marinelife With plenty of people getting very sick (me being one of them) from getting the vaccination I’d say I was playing Russian Roulette with taking it/giving it to my son.

Even if I or he got the flu, we’d treat it and be on our way just like with any other sickness. Most people who get sick a lot and stay sick don’t take care of themselves very well before/during/after getting sick, therefore making it last longer and the symptoms more severe. Why do you think most people who have a healthy, active lifestyle eating organics and watching what their bodies are exposed to don’t get sick that often? (not all, but it’s the massive majority)

Anyway, I’m not here to try to get anyone to agree with me. We’d just keep dancing in circles, lol. Just here to state what I feel is right for me and my family. If you want to go the pharmaceutical route, then go for it. I won’t berate you or try to stop you. You always do what you feel is right for your family’s health. =) I’ve done it for my family.

crisw's avatar

@deni-

Calling vaccines “mumbo-jumbo” is about the same as saying that you do not know how they work.

As for how you stay so healthy, a lot of it is what’s called herd immunity. Basically, you’re freeloading protection from all the people who are vaccinated and provide a buffer against infection. When herd immunity is strong, outbreaks are rare and anti-vaxers can claim they are “healthier.” When herd immunity drops too low, outbreaks occur, and the unvaccinated will be the first to fall.

crisw's avatar

@NinjaBiscuit

“Why do you think most people who have a healthy, active lifestyle eating organics and watching what their bodies are exposed to don’t get sick that often?”

The majority of people in this group do get vaccinated.

There is no scientific evidence at all that unvaccinated people get sick less often. It’s quite the opposite when a pandemic comes around.

And it isn’t just your children that are harmed- it’s everyone’s children. This is the part anti-vaxers don’t get.

Let’s say you take a trip to Switzerland with your unvaccinated kid and bring home the measles (this happened in San Diego.) You take your very sick kid to the pediatrician at the same time a baby who is too young for the measles vaccine is there. That baby gets the measles (this also happened in San Diego) – and measles in a baby is very serious; it can lead to meningitis and encephalitis and permanent brain damage.

Your refusal to vaccinate then made not only your own child suffer, but someone else’s as well.

Rarebear's avatar

For anybody who is opposed to vaccinating I have only one picture to show you.

That is what you would wish upon our children. Nicely done.

Jabe73's avatar

@Rarebear I never had a flu shot. I take however you are probally not a fan of Dr. Mercola then. He is as anti-vaccination as you can get.

crisw's avatar

@Jabe73

I never heard of the guy but he seems to be making a fortune touting quack products. And the FDA ordered him to stop making illegal health claims for his products.

There are dozens and dozens of articles from reputable scientists pointing out his frauds. This guy certainly doesn’t sound like a reputable information source.

Jabe73's avatar

@crisw Isn’t he a “Dr.”? I’ve seen his website and I am fairly skeptical of him myself just as I am of most alternative or natural health website claims.

crisw's avatar

@Jabe73

Apparently, he’s a doctor of osteopathy, not an MD.

And there are plenty of doctors of all stripes who are quacks.

Jabe73's avatar

@crisw Oh I see he’s made Quackwatch, he must be quite the celebrity to make that website. Yes it’s sad, so many quacks try to take advantage of desperate people to sell them their special vitamins, calcium, mineral supplements, water ionizers (which aren’t cheap), colon cleansing products among many others.

Mom2BDec2010's avatar

I refused to get the flu shot, last time I got the flu shot I got the flu.

Rarebear's avatar

There’s actually nothing wrong with doctors of osteopathy. They are just as legitimate as doctors of medicine.

Rarebear's avatar

And for those of you who are reading about people who insist that you got the flu after getting a flu shot, they didn’t. That was coincidence, and a classic example of what is known as confirmation bias. You can’t get the flu from a flu shot as it’s inactivated virus. That said, those of you who are convinced of it will probably post back, call me names, and tell me that I don’t know what I’m talking about. You’re not who I’m talking to.

Jabe73's avatar

@Rarebear Would you recommend a flu shot to someone who only ever had the flu one time back when they were a kid? I’m not being sarcastic here but I always wondered this. I admit I do not know.

crisw's avatar

@Rarebear

I wasn’t meaning to imply that all osteopaths are quacks, by any means. Just that when most people see “Dr.”, they are expecting an MD.

crisw's avatar

@Mom2BDec2010

You are 17 and pregnant., You’re in a very high risk group for flu.

Rarebear's avatar

@Jabe73 Personally, I think it’s a good idea for everybody to get a flu shot. But that said, if you aren’t around people a lot, or pregnant, or work with kids, then it’s probably not as necessary.

@crisw I’m just making the point that a DO has the same medical training as an MD these days.

Jabe73's avatar

@Rarebear I am one of those people that can be around a bunch of sick people and never get sick. I have an idea what the difference between a cold and flu is and I think I maybe gotten the flu 2 or 3 times as a child but never again (knock on wood). I maybe will get a cold once every 5 years and they generally do not last any more than a few days. I suppose in certain field like yours than it would be vital to get one. I probally just jinxed myself here.

Mom2BDec2010's avatar

I may be more prone to the illness because I’m pregnant but I’m not really around people that much and I rarely get sick. But if i do get sick I will be telling myself “The jellies told me so”

deni's avatar

@crisw i have to disagree. i take vitamins (often too much vitamin C because it tastes so good) eat mostly organic food, exercise regularly, wash my hands when necessary, i am 21 and healthy otherwise. im gonna give myself credit for being healthy and not everyone else.

just another word, no one in my immediate family (there’s 5 of us) has ever had the flu shot or the flu. and my brother is a school teacher. just sayin. it’s possible.

@Rarebear smallpox isn’t the flu.

casheroo's avatar

No. It’s freaking me out that the people I’m close to who have gotten it this year, have all gotten very very sick.
I have had Influenza twice in my life. Once as a teen and last year while pregnant. Yes, it sucks but I survived!

cockswain's avatar

I used to get the shot and would generally run a mild fever for 24 hrs and feel achy. I didn’t get the flu. Last several years I haven’t got the shot and still didn’t get the flu, despite being around those that had it. I almost never get sick, and live a pretty healthy lifestyle. So I put my faith in my immune system to continue to kick ass when presented with the virus. I don’t like having my weekend half-ruined by the side-effects of the shot. Should I ever get the flu, I’ll probably get a shot in the future.

Anyone who doesn’t understand how vaccinations work or has bought into the hype brought on my Jenny McCarthy and the anti-vaccination crowd needs better education. There is plenty of scientific data supporting the effectiveness of vaccinations. There is only anecdotal evidence and paranoia against it. Sort of reminds me of people that reject evolution.

Rarebear's avatar

@deni Don’t be dense. Of course I’m not saying smallpox is the flu, although they’re both caused by viruses. But the antivaxers would have us eliminate vaccines and I’m making the rather dramatic point that a disease was ERADICATED by vaccine.

Don’t underestimate the flu. Last year in my ICU I saw two people nearly die of it, and one of them was a 24 year old woman who had just delivered a baby.

augustlan's avatar

I haven’t, yet, but I will. I’m in a high risk group for multiple reasons, and have to get one every year. It has never made me ill, though I do get quite the knot on my arm at the injection site. I sincerely wish that everyone would get vaccinated. Far too many un-vaccinated people are putting others at risk.

faye's avatar

there was a Law and Order show that dealt with the death of another younger child because other parents had chosen not to vaccinate their child. The non vaxed brought some disease to a play school setting and another child brought it home to his younger sibling who died. They were trying to go for criminal negligence.

crisw's avatar

@cockswain

One thing to remember, though- while your immunity to a certain strain of flu can be lifelong (which is why elderly people weren’t as affected by H1N1; a similar strain went around when hey were kids and they were still immune), new strains appear constantly, and thus the actual content of the flu vaccine changes every year.

Rarebear's avatar

Also, the effects of the vaccine wear off after awhile, which is the other reason why flu vaccinations are reccomended yearly.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Rarebear No, it’s because there are so many different strains that scientists try to figure out which strain (or strains) will be big the next fall, and then create the vaccine for that one.

Rarebear's avatar

@papayalily That too. But the effects of the flu shot do wear off with time. That’s why people who got H1N1 shots last year are getting them again this year.

cockswain's avatar

@crisw I am aware of that. Do you know why the viral RNA mutates so quickly? Is it just because it is shorter?

crisw's avatar

@cockswain

Apprarently, it’s because they don’t have very good error correction. Therefore, more mutations=more potential virus strains.

Aster's avatar

Not just anyone can get preservative-free Flu Mist. That’s why we have this thread on the shots and why not everyone is running out to get the nasal spray. Besides, the flu shot has Themerosol which contains a good dose of mercury.
In June of 1999, the Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products in Europe, the equivalent of the U.S.’s FDA, completed an 18-month inquiry into the risks and benefits of using thimerosal in vaccines. They concluded that, “although there is not evidence of harm caused by the level of exposure from vaccines, it would be prudent to promote the general use of vaccines without thimerosal.” It was then that the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) confirmed that thimerosal was present in over 30 licenses vaccines in the U.S. in concentrations of 0.003% to 0.01%. CBER than make the remarkable discovery than the mercury intake through vaccination in the first six months of life exceeded the limit set by the EPA.
Mercury is the second most toxic element on earth to plutonium. Toxicity of mercury has been linked to many different diseases, including autism,(many doctors say they have “no idea” what causes Autism) learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, depression, and bipolar disorder. The amount of mercury found in one mercury thermometer is enough to pollute a small lake.
Health effects of mercury toxicity have been a concern because of the potential for it to act as a poison. Toxic doses of mercury can cause developmental effects in the fetus, as well as affecting the kidney and the nervous system in children and adults. Mercury exists in a number of different chemical forms, each one consisting of different levels of toxicity. The forms of mercury can also be converted from one to another in the environment and in the body, so symptoms caused by mercury poisoning depends on the precise chemical forms involved.

Aster's avatar

I think flu shots to “avoid illness” are just plain scary. I contracted measles, chicken pox and mumps and got well as did my friends.
And when you take your child in for a shot, ask how long it will last.
Feds settle vaccine lawsuit and seal results
Vaccine manufacturers have paid out nearly $2B in damages to parents in America whose children were harmed by one of the childhood jabs such as the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) or DPT (diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus). In all, around 2,000 families have received compensation payments that have averaged $850,000 each. There are a further 700 claims that are going through the pipeline. None of the claims is for autism as medical researchers say they have failed to find a link between the disease and the MMR vaccine, despite the initial findings made by Dr Andrew Wakefield. Instead they are for a wide spectrum of physical and mental conditions that are likely to have been caused by one of the vaccinations. Around 7,000 parents have filed a claim of an adverse reaction with America’s Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). To win an award, the claimant must prove a causal link to a vaccine. As the medical establishment has refused to recognise any link to autism, the VICP has so far rejected 300 claims for this outright. (Source: New England Journal of Medicine, 2007; 357: 1275–9

Aster's avatar

Is it all about the money?
– Nov2, 2003 – UK: The Independent – Parents wanting diagnostic spinal taps blocked at every turn – “What the new evidence is said to reveal is the most striking link yet between the triple jab and autism. The measles virus (shown below) has been found in the spinal fluid – and therefore the brain – in three of the six test case children at the centre of the High Court battle. By contrast the virus was found in only one of more than 20 control samples – taken mainly from spinal taps on children with leukaemia. Parents from the test case wanted to obtain the spinal fluid samples from which the newest evidence was eventually drawn. But every hospital they approached in Britain refused permission for the tests, which were deemed “invasive and unethical”. So they went to the US. But when they arrived with the disabled children in Michigan the hospital there suddenly withdrew at the 11th hour. When they found a replacement clinic the defendant drug companies made an emergency application to the High Court in London for an injunction to prevent the tests. It was declined, but the parents were told to delay the samples so that the drug firms could send a doctor; they sent a lawyer instead.”

crisw's avatar

@Aster

Please, please do some actual research before you make your claims!

“Besides, the flu shot has Themerosol which contains a good dose of mercury. ”

Almost half the flu vaccines this year in the US contain no thimerosal at all.. And thimerosal contains only a tiny trace of mercury; there is no evidence that the amount found in one dose of flu vaccine is harmful.

You quote some information from 11 years ago- vaccine content has changed a lot since then, and the information is no longer relevant.

You then quote a whole bunch of stuff about how toxic mercury is. Yes, it’s toxic. But dosage counts. You will get more mercury from a tuna sandwich than from a vaccine. And, unlike the sandwich, the vaccine saves lives.

And, as we stated, you can choose thimerosal-free vaccines if you are that worried.

“I contracted measles, chicken pox and mumps and got well as did my friends. ’

That’s nice. So did you and your friends contract polio? Smallpox? Diphtheria? No? Well, that’s because of vaccination.

And that’s great that you survived measles and mumps without harm. Lots of people don’t. People are killed by measles every year- 164,000 worldwide in 2008. The number of people dying from preventable diseases is going up in developed countries- because of antivaccination campaigns. From the same NEJM article you mentioned- but didn’t cite the original-
…droves of British families refused the pertussis vaccine, substantial numbers of children became ill with whooping cough, and some 70 children died.

As for your supposed cite from “New England Journal of Medicine, 2007”- it isn’t- it’s copypasta that can be found on any number of antivax websites. The real article-
It’s here. From that article- speaking about money-
Claimants not only want to prove that the federal government, the Institute of Medicine, vaccine makers, and mainstream science are wrong; they also want money. A child with autism is likely to require extraordinarily expensive services — and to have very limited employment prospects in adulthood. Besides, many parents of autistic children may feel better psychologically if they can blame profit-seeking drug companies for their children’s problems.

You misrepresent the actual function of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. As the article explains, quite clearly, it doesn’t require the parents to prove that their children were injured by vaccines. And, given that millions and millions of vaccinations are administered to children every year, the number of cases VICP handles is a vanishingly small percentage.

As for your last cite, it’s an out-of-context quote from a sensationalist article, referred to on an anti-vaccine webpage (the original is no longer available.) The true story is that the lawsuit mentioned was dropped.

Aster's avatar

Mercury in fish enters the body gently through the mouth, and passes through the digestive system. Our bodies are given a warning that its coming and are allowed to process (at least some of) it as waste and expel it. Mercury in vaccines is injected suddenly and invasively into our muscular system and our bodies are not able to process it; it’s there and there’s nothing we can do about it.
Mercury is in fish, phones, whatever else, it’s in the environment, it’s somewhat inescapable. That is a GREAT reason to avoid it as much as we can, it’s not an excuse to intentionally pollute our bodies with it.

Aster's avatar

Epidemiologist Tom Verstraeten and Dr. Richard Johnston, an immunologist and pediatrician from the University of Colorado, both concluded that thimerosal was responsible for the dramatic rise in cases of autism but their findings were dismissed by the CDC.
Cases of autism in the U.S. have increased by 1,500 per cent since 1991, which is when vaccines for children doubled, and the number of immunizations is only increasing. Just one in 2,500 children were diagnosed with autism before 1991, whereas one in 166 children now have the disease.
A peer reviewed study by Dr. Mark Geier which appeared in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons showed that the IOM research was flawed because it was largely based on a Danish study by Anders Peter Hviid, which did not account for the fact that American children have a much higher mercury burden than children in Denmark.
“At the high levels (of thimerosal exposure), it is undeniable there is a causal relationship, and we have gone to high levels. Their studies, therefore are not relevant, I am not saying they are wrong, although there are many criticisms of it. It is just not relative to the US situation,” said Geier.
Geier’s study concludes that there is an increase of neurodevelopment disorders following the use of thimerosal containing vaccines.

crisw's avatar

@Aster

“Mercury in fish enters the body gently through the mouth, and passes through the digestive system. Our bodies are given a warning that its coming and are allowed to process (at least some of) it as waste and expel it. ”

Cite, please? Or is this from antivaccination website/made up?

Methylmercury, the type of mercury in fish, is almost completely absorbed when consumed..

Thimerosal contains a completely different type of mercury.

And, as we have said, you can get thimerosal-free vaccines if you wish.

crisw's avatar

@Aster

Please, please, please don’t start the autism rants. I was hoping, since this is a discussion of flu vaccines and not MMR, that it would not degrade into this. There is no scientific support for your position and any number of cites from anti-vaccination websites won’t prove your point.

The issue has been studied to death. Vaccines do not cause autism. Period.

Aster's avatar

Cite, please? Or is this from antivaccination website/made up?
If it isn’t from a website where would I be obtaining it? And how could it be from a pro-vacc website?lol

Aster's avatar

“Vaccines do not cause autism. Period.”
Well, ok. That’s all we need then. LOL !!!

crisw's avatar

@Aster

So someone else made it up? And you just accept anything you read on some random antivaccination website as truth? What you said about mercury was flat-out wrong- as is most of the “information” on such sites.

Aster's avatar

Yes, it was just “made up.” Someone was bored, he made it up. LOL

crisw's avatar

@Aster

When confronted with mass hysteria and demonstrably false claims versus replicable, well-designed, massively repeated, peer-reviewed, comprehensive scientific studies, I know which source I would find to be more truthful.

You haven’t presented a shred of actual evidence to back up your claims, just random quotes that you admit are from antivaccination websites.

crisw's avatar

@Aster

Oh, and as to “If it isn’t from a website where would I be obtaining it?””

Perhaps a reputable scientific journal instead?

Aster's avatar

Flu Vaccine: CDC ignores the dangers, instead wants to needle everyone
September 1, 2010
Filed under Featured, Intel Hub Featured Article

Flu Shot
The Intel Hub

In a scene reminiscent of a Brave New World and despite numerous concerns, health officials are advising basically everyone in the United States to get the flu vaccine.

The CDC is openly demanding that you take a vaccine that is, on record, extremely dangerous. Multiple countries throughout the world have BANNED flu vaccines due to their dangerous side effects. Australia, Finland, and Sweden have all either banned flu vaccines outright or opened investigations into their dangers. Why is the United States still pushing vaccines that have been linked to seizures, instant death, low IQ, and side effects that slowly kill you? The CDC has constantly followed the World Health Organizations guidelines, guidelines that were passed by control freaks who openly call for depopulation.

WA Today

Flu vaccination ban goes national after fever, convulsions in children
More than 60 children around the state may have had adverse reactions to the vaccine, including fevers, vomiting and febrile convulsions – a type of fit brought on by a high fever.

In Sweden, an investigation has been launched into the swine flu vaccine, a vaccine that has been linked to multiple cases of narcolepsy. Why are we not hearing this news from “news” outlets such as CNN and MSNBC? Because people are turning to “crisw” for the truth.

crisw's avatar

@Aster

What, exactly, are you hoping to accomplish by posting random quotes instead of an actual, reasoned, referenced argument?

deni's avatar

Only half contain no mercury? Oh…good….

Aster's avatar

“replicable, well-designed, massively repeated, peer-reviewed, comprehensive scientific studies, I know which source I would find to be more truthful.” Good grief ! Where are YOUR replicable, well-designed, peer-reviewed, scientific, etc etc etc references?? Those are unreliable. Everyone is paid off. The CDC is in the pockets of the FDA. It’s all about the money. A dentist told his patients that mercury in their fillings was dangerous and he lost his license. You’re so trusting of your
replicable, well-designed, “massively” repeated? , peer-reviewed, comprehensive, scientific out of breath now.

Aster's avatar

what is an “actual, reasoned” reference? Name one.
@deni The nasal spray, hard to find, has no mercury. The shots not having any is a base lie. They have to get rid of their old supplies of the stuff before it Really expires; you never know how much mercury you’re getting. They know that laymen cannot read the label (who has done that?) and understand it. It all has preservative in it; you can be sure of that. There is, and always will be, dangerously dishonest statements in journals. I’d trust what parents of autistic children have to say much more than any replicable, well-designed, massively repeated (lol) peer-reviewed study in a medical journal. This mindset is similar to women thinking if they buy products with pink ribbons on the label or Race for the Cure it’ll have any effect on curing breast cancer OR will help to fund breast cancer research.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Aster The shots not having any preservatives is not a lie. The only shots that have some are the ones that are drawn out of a multi-use vial. There are also pre-drawn individual dose syringes that do not have any preservatives in them. I know this because I administer them at my work.

Aster's avatar

Six million have no Thimerosol; fifty six million have it.
This video, a “shred” of evidence, says all we need to know. At the end, take special note of what your CDC has to say about vaccines.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoAXJs2aDY4

Aster's avatar

‘That’s nice. So did you and your friends contract polio? Smallpox? Diphtheria? No? Well, that’s because of vaccination.” I had one school mate who had polio. He’s on Facebook. I had the Salk vaccine just as it was petering out on it’s own in the early ‘60’s. Diphtheria was not running rampant in south Jersey then. Smallpox, no. And I have no idea if those vaccines had mercury in them. I do know I never heard of a child with Autism until the 1980’s.

cockswain's avatar

@crisw I’m going to totally sidestep what’s developed since I asked about RNA viruses. Anyways, I knew the DNA viruses mutated slower than the RNA ones, but am not clear why. I read the link you posted, and it only refers to DNA’s “proof-reading” mechanism that the RNA virus circumvents. What proof-reading mechanism are they talking about?

Also, I’m fairly weak in virology. I know how ERVs are an indicator in human evolution through insertion into the genome, but I don’t understand by what mechanism a DNA virus is able to insert into a genome. I get that an RNA virus could basically just put a piece of mRNA into the cell and get to the ribosome and be translated into a protein in that fashion (provided I’m correct viral RNA acts like mRNA). Do you know much about this? If so, I’ll probably have more questions.

Aster's avatar

“At least half of all US children have had otitis media by their first birthday. By age 6 90% have had them. This condition accounts for 26 million visits to physicians every year. In addition, about 1 million children have tubes inserted in their ears every year, at a cost of $1000/operation. Thus $1 billion is spent each year on this operation. Just imagine what it means if this is all, or mostly all, caused by the pertussis vaccine. This particular “glue ear” type of otitis was not known in American medical practice before the late 1940’s or early 1950’s—in other words, the time when the pertussis vaccine was being introduced.”—Harris Coulter Ph.D.
I find this fascinating because , while both my kids had ear infections and one had tubes, I’ve never had an earache but I did have whooping cough. ?

Cirbryn's avatar

@Aster
> “Just imagine what it means if this is all, or mostly all, caused by the pertussis vaccine.”

And just imagine if it’s all caused by people copypasting completely unsupported claims from random websites that they haven’t bothered to cite! You could be killing children! Stop the madness!

cockswain's avatar

@Cirbryn Completely agreed.

crisw's avatar

@Aster

I am going to address some of your statements, not for you but for anyone else reading this thread. Note that I have backed up what I have to say with citations. All you’ve done is post hysterics, random quotes, and unsupported conspiracy theories.

Anti-vaccination activism sickens, maims, and kills people. That is the take-home message here.

“They have to get rid of their old supplies of the stuff before it Really expires”

Not true. We have already discussed that there is a new flu vaccine every year, and why this is. And thimerosal usage in vaccines has been going down for years.

“I do know I never heard of a child with Autism until the 1980’s.”

I have been working in special education since 1977 or so. There were most certainly children with autism back then. They were usually just labeled “mentally retarded.” Our ability to diagnose autism has just gotten much better. And, please note, the autism rate in countries that never had thimerosal in vaccines parallels that of the US.

“This particular “glue ear” type of otitis was not known in American medical practice before the late 1940’s or early 1950’s—in other words, the time when the pertussis vaccine was being introduced.””

This was also the same time as Hula Hoops, color television, and TV dinners were introduced. And you presented just about as much evidence that pertussis causes ear infections as these do. One of the basic rules of statistics- correlation does not equal causation.

We are in the midst of a whooping cough epidemic in California. So far, ten babies have died, And what caused this epidemic? Failure to vaccinate.

Your hysteria is killing people. Please, if you truly love humanity, get educated and stop.

crisw's avatar

@cockswain

I saw your question- I am not a virologist by any means, so I’ll have to do some research!

cockswain's avatar

@crisw too bad, I was looking forward to some education on that. I’ll research on it some time myself. I haven’t, and have wondered this for a long time. There just isn’t enough time in life to satisfy all questions of a curious mind.

crisw's avatar

@cockswain

Ain’t that the truth!

crisw's avatar

@Aster

I looked a bit into your “glue ear” claim, as that was a new antivaccination horror tale to me. Like all other such tales, it’s unfounded.

“Glue ear” is not a new disease. It was described in medical textbooks over 100 years ago. The idea that it is a modern disorder has been studied and is false. The increase in surgeries for glue ear has many causes, all of them comprehensible and none due to any type of vaccine.

Aster's avatar

Now that I have been accused of killing children I will leave the thread. You all continue to enjoy posting your links. (:

Rarebear's avatar

Here is a good Skeptoid episode on the subject
http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4055

crisw's avatar

@Aster

The truth hurts, doesn’t it?

I will repeat it again, because it is absolutely, positively true.

Antivaccination activism kills and maims people.

Every baby with measles encephalitis, every child dying of whooping cough, every kid whose chickenpox will become hideously painful shingles later in life…

Want some idea of what your activism leads to?

Before vaccinations were developed:
• There were 13,000 to 20,000 polio cases every year in the US.
• There were 3–4 million cases of measles every year and 450 measles-related deaths
• There were 20,000 cases of Haemophilus influenzae type b infections and 600 deaths, with thousands of survivors permanently disabled
• 150,000 and 260,000 cases of pertussis were reported each year with up to 9,000 pertussis-related deaths
• 20,000 infants born with congenital rubella syndrome, with 2,100 neonatal deaths and 11,250 miscarriages. Of the 20,000 infants born with CRS, 11,600 were deaf, 3,580 were blind and 1,800 were mentally retarded.

Is this really what you want?

Because it’s what antivaccination hysteria is already causing in our country- witness the measles and pertussis outbreaks I mentioned- and will continue to cause if it goes unchecked.

Rarebear's avatar

@aster Not to mention the millions of cases of smallpox. Out of curiosity, @Aster how many people do you know have had smallpox? How many people do you know who look like this? Nobody? That’s because of vaccination.

deni's avatar

Hey you guys, I just want to say this: I’m not against all vaccinations, and I don’t even think the flu vaccination is a terrible idea for everyone. The elderly, I get it, they can really have issues if they get the flu and it can lead to other things. But for a young healthy person, I just don’t think it’s worth the risk. I don’t need fake shit in my body to avoid a health issue that I don’t get to begin with. You might not think that there is anything bad in the flu shot, but I also think you shouldn’t completely trust what the government says regarding it. Call me a looney, but the pharmaceutical industry is HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE.

crisw's avatar

@deni

“But for a young healthy person, I just don’t think it’s worth the risk. ”

You do realize that H1N1 disproportionally affected young, healthy people, right?

“I don’t need fake shit in my body to avoid a health issue that I don’t get to begin with.”

You do realize how herd immunity works, right?

The only reason that we don’t see huge epidemics of things like measles and polio is that most people are vaccinated against them. Because of this, even if an occasional case crops up, the virus has difficulty spreading because most of the hosts it encounters are already immune.

Reduce the vaccination rate and there are more possible hosts and disease spreads instead of coming to a halt. As I linked to above, that’s exactly what’s happening with pertussis (whooping cough) in CA. Teenagers didn’t get vaccinated, and, because of this, pertussis is spreading and babies are dying.

“You might not think that there is anything bad in the flu shot, but I also think you shouldn’t completely trust what the government says regarding it.”

Well, unless you can show some actual, reproducible, demonstrable evidence why you are concerned, then I am afraid it’s more conspiracy theory/unwarranted paranoia than anything else.

Rarebear's avatar

@deni The only people I saw in my ICU who were critically ill with H1N1 last year were young people. I saw no (that is zero) old people with H1N1 in my ICU.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Aster And you very well may have had measles and recovered just fine but you should be damn glad you didn’t get the infection when you were pregnant because it could have cause a lifetime of very serious health problems and disabilities for your child.

Congenital Rubella Syndrome

Cirbryn's avatar

@lillycoyote
That’s probably what happened to my sister. (My mom caught rubella while pregnant. The vaccine came out shortly after that.) My sister’s mentally retarded – functions at about the level of a 4 or 5 year old.

@Aster
I was actually kind of joking around about the killing children bit. Sorry. Although yeah, if someone took you seriously enough not to vaccinate her kid then it could happen.

crisw's avatar

@Cirbryn

I think she’s talking to me. And I am not in the least bit sorry for what I said.

augustlan's avatar

@deni I never used to get a flu shot either, because I figured I didn’t need one. Then, I got kidney disease. I also have asthma. Getting the flu now could kill me. Since I became part of the high-risk group, I’ve learned more about herd immunity and how effective it is in stopping the spread of disease. That’s why I said up there ^^ that I really wish everyone would get a flu shot. It’s not just so the individual doesn’t get the flu, but so the individual doesn’t spread the flu… particularly to a high-risk population.

lillycoyote's avatar

I’ve started putting together a collection of quarantine signs for the anti-vaccine folks to use after they have convinced us all that vaccines are dangerous and unnecessary. I have these so far:

Typhoid

Diptheria

Scarlet Fever

Scarlet Fever 2

Polio

I can hardly wait to experience those pre-vaccine days for myself. I am particularly looking forward to attending the funerals of children on a much more frequent basis.

crisw's avatar

@deni

No one will state that people are never injured by vaccines. Allergic reactions, for example, are very real and do occur.

The question is- which is riskier, vaccines or the diseases that they prevent? And the answer to this is very clear- the threat of disease is much more dangerous.

augustlan's avatar

Got mine today! :D

cockswain's avatar

Without a source, I would imagine automobiles harm way more people than vaccines. And smoking, and drinking, and fast food, and salt, and high fructose corn syrup. Given the choice, would the nay-sayers like to go back in time and NOT get the vaccinations they have already received?

crisw's avatar

I wonder what the anti-vaxers think about animal vaccines?

In the news today- rinderpest, once the scourge of tropical livestock and wildlife, has been wiped out. Guess how? Testing programs- and vaccination.

lillycoyote's avatar

@crisw Wow! Score one for the good guys. Thanks for the post. It was interesting, interesting that rinderpest, whatever the hell that is or was, more accurately, I guess :-), is now the only disease other than smallpox that we have been able to completely eradicate.

Cruiser's avatar

BTW it’s official the we should…

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim December 5 through December 11, 2010, as National Influenza Vaccination Week. I encourage Americans to get vaccinated this week if they have not yet done so, and to urge their families, friends, and co workers to do the same.

AmWiser's avatar

@Cruiser Thanx for the information/update.;-)
I still refuse to get one.

Cruiser's avatar

@AmWiser Hard to take his health issues seriously when he still smokes..ya know??

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