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Flu shot

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive October 2006: Flu shot
By Jackie on Thursday, October 5, 2006 - 10:37 am:

Are any of you getting the flu shot? Are any of your kids getting it? I have never had a flu shot. My older 2 kids have been getting the flu mist the last couple of years. That is the spray/mist that goes up the nose. Faith is too young for the mist. I called for an appt for my kids. The receptionist said the flu shot was not in yet, but the flu mist was. So my older 2 kids will get it on Monday. I just think it is important that get it since they are in school all day. I do understand that it does not protect from all strains of the flu. I figure since the insurance pays for it, why not LOL

By Heaventree on Thursday, October 5, 2006 - 10:39 am:

We all always get the flu shot, I'm surprised that you are able to get it so soon this year, we are not expected to get any until closer to the end of November as it was delayed this year.

By Tonya on Thursday, October 5, 2006 - 10:44 am:

We do not get the shot and we all generally do not get the flu either. It is available here in Michigan now. I heard them talking about it on the radio jus tthe other day.

By Tink on Thursday, October 5, 2006 - 10:44 am:

My dh and I will get it. My dks will not. The flu shot is one of the only shots that still contains thimerasol and I can't take that risk with our family history. Our shot is supposed to be available at the end of October.

By Jackie on Thursday, October 5, 2006 - 10:47 am:

According to the kids drs office, the flu shot is not in yet. The flu mist is in.

By Heaventree on Thursday, October 5, 2006 - 10:51 am:

Tink, I don't know about where you live, but here you can request the flu shot without thimerasol.

By Dandjmom on Thursday, October 5, 2006 - 11:52 am:

Never had a flu shot , and believe it or not in my 32 years I've only had the (touch of the) flu once. Back in 2004, my doctor didn't give it to my daughter who was 8 but gave it to my 7 month h old son because he was in day care and maybe a week after having the shot he came down with something ( I don't think it was the flu) we all only stayed sick 24 to 48 hrs at a time , but the shocking thing to me was that we where not all sick at the same time, one got it , it was gone and then the next person got it. Me and all three kids had something my aunt( she and her daughter lives with me) never got sick she was constantly back and forth she never stays in long enough to do anything, she hangs out a lot.

But to answer the original question we will not be getting one this year, we didn't have them last year and everyone was fine.

By Karen~admin on Thursday, October 5, 2006 - 03:23 pm:

I cannot find a doctor anywhere near here who has any available. I have been taking it for over 10 years.

By Hol on Thursday, October 5, 2006 - 03:36 pm:

We are all getting ours tomorrow morning, hopefully. Our local hospital holds flu clinics all over our area, and they started yesterday. They are mostly held at senior centers, but you don't have to be a senior citizen to get it there. If we miss tomorrow's, they are having many more until mid-November. I think it really does help prevent the flu.

In our state, the individual doctor's offices used to have the vaccine, but now the state health department distributes it through the hospitals. It's the same with the meningitis shot for teenagers.

Flu can be deadly at any age because it can turn to pneumonia. That happened to me when I was 37 and I nearly died. I was in intensive care in a military hospital for a week, and an inpatient for another two weeks. I almost didn't make it. The chaplain came in to see me everyday. Never a good sign. :)

I won't take that chance anymore. I also get the pneumonia shot every five years.

By Bellajoe on Thursday, October 5, 2006 - 03:56 pm:

I've never gotten the flu shot, but am thinking about getting it this year. I guess if i want it, i better get on the ball!

I had it twice last year and the year before. Now i have been told that having a fever and vomiting is not exactly the flu...but that's what I call "the flu"!

Does the flu shot or mist work well? I have heard you can still get it, but get a milder case of it.

By Reds9298 on Thursday, October 5, 2006 - 04:01 pm:

I always got the flu shot when I taught but not anymore.

They were giving it at Meijer here earlier this week.

By Ginny~moderator on Thursday, October 5, 2006 - 08:13 pm:

I had the flu twice - once when I was 25. I went to my parents' house to take care of my mom, who had the flu, and both my 3+ year old son and I got it. My son got sick first, vomiting and diarrhea so bad he had to be hospitalized and given IV fluids for dehydration. Then I got it, and couldn't be at the hospital with him.

The second time I got it was when I was about about 29 and Scott was a baby. I remember that I was on the couch, and when Scott needed changing my husband (not dear, and now ex) would bring him to me for changing and feeding because my husband "didn't know how to".

After having the flu twice, you'd better believe I get the shot, every year, and have ever since it was available. And I got the pneumonia shot when I turned 60 and will repeat as my doctor advises. (Thanks for the reminder. I need to make an appointment to get my shot.)

By Pamt on Thursday, October 5, 2006 - 08:17 pm:

I work in a hospital, so the shot is free and strongly recommended since I get exposed to everything. My DSs get it because they both have asthma and frequent croup/reactive airway disease and the flu could really create problems. DH doesn't get it.

By Luvn29 on Thursday, October 5, 2006 - 08:24 pm:

My husband gets it through work for free every year. My kids got it for the first time last year, and they got the mist. I can't have the vaccination because of immune problems with me. My doctors recommend that I not take it.

By Dawnk777 on Thursday, October 5, 2006 - 08:46 pm:

I work in a clinic. They pay for it, and I'm exposed to all kinds of stuff, so I get it. I haven't pushed it with the rest of my family, because of the shortages the last 2 years and I don't think they are high risk. Nobody has asthma. I always debate and never come up with a good answer. It probably wouldn't hurt to have everyone get the flu shot.

By Tink on Thursday, October 5, 2006 - 09:18 pm:

I know the vaccine is available without thimerasol but, with the shortages over the last few years, the reaction I've got is "This is what we have. Like it or lump it." I'll request it again but it's not a high priority at this point. No one in our family has ever gotten the flu.

By Colette on Thursday, October 5, 2006 - 09:49 pm:

I will not get it unless I can get it thimerosol free.

By Reds9298 on Thursday, October 5, 2006 - 10:01 pm:

Can anyone direct me to a good website with more info about thimerosol? I know nothing about this.

By Tink on Thursday, October 5, 2006 - 10:36 pm:

Honestly, Deanna, I can point you to several sites but there are just as many, if not more, refuting the info I could give you. Basically, some people believe that thimerosal (a preservative that was used in vaccines and that is still used in the flu shot and the varicella shot) can result in mercury poisoning which either causes or closely mimics autism. With my ds's autism and a terrible reaction to his shots at 9 months, I'm not willing to take the chance of additional exposure for him or any exposure for my dds. HTH and that I didn't step on the toes of those of you that disagree with me.

By Momofmax on Friday, October 6, 2006 - 02:17 pm:

I got the flu shot and so did dh. Ds is supposed to get it next week. I'm going to ask about it without thimerosal.

By Tripletmom on Friday, October 6, 2006 - 04:24 pm:

I've never had a flu shot.I've never given the dk's one either.My DH had his 1st one 2 years ago and he got violently ill 12 hours of getting it.I know they say you can't get sick from getting it but with our experience it makes us wonder...

By Reds9298 on Friday, October 6, 2006 - 05:47 pm:

Thanks Tink - I had heard of this link to autism through vaccinations, but didn't know the name of it. I didn't realize that was the thimerosal. You gave a very good explanation. I would feel the same as you do regarding the flu shot.

By Eve on Saturday, October 7, 2006 - 10:11 am:

I just took the kids yesterday to get their flu shots. It was a first for both, as the recommendations keep changing. Syd got the flu mist and Mason got a shot. I talked to my Dr. and he didn't seem to think I was high priority for the flu shot, but said it was up to me. The only time I ever get the flu shot it when I'm pregnant. DH can usually get one through work, but we usually don't. I don't think I'm high risk at this point. I can't decide!

By Colette on Wednesday, October 11, 2006 - 01:11 pm:

This isn't meant to start a debate at all, but I came across this today and found it interesting.

WASHINGTON — For years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has maintained that no direct link exists between early vaccinations and developmental disorders in children, but not everyone wants to give the last word on the subject to the government public health agency.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill — responding to a growing clamor from parents and advocacy groups who argue the rise in the number of autistic children is linked to childhood vaccines — say they want the CDC out of the business of vaccine safety. Their argument is that the agency is tainted by conflicts of interest because it is also the chief promoter for vaccinations.

Congress was too busy wrestling with a host of issues, including the war on terror, high gas prices and appropriations bills to turn its attention toward the health issue before it recessed on Sept. 29. The 109th Congress will return after the Nov. 7 election to wrap up unfinished business, but it's unlikely to touch on any legislation relating to the matter.

Rep. Dave Weldon of Florida, one of a dwindling number of Republicans with safe seats this year, said he will reintroduce his bill — the Vaccine Safety and Public Confidence Assurance Act of 2006 — when the 110th Congress convenes next year.

"It's an important issue. As a physician, I've been surprised and frankly embarrassed about the overall lack of good research into vaccine safety," Weldon told

Weldon introduced the bill with Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., over the summer. It now sits in a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The legislation would create a separate agency outside of the CDC to oversee vaccine safety issues, including research. Other legislation introduced by other House and Senate sponsors addresses linkages between vaccines and autism-related disorders.

While the CDC says recent studies indicate no link between autism and childhood vaccinations, even one that contained mercury, the opposite position is supported by many in the medical establishment, including the American Academy of Pediatrics.

With such conflict, the debate is raging over how limited current research really is and whether the government is doing enough to fund better studies.

"Parents deserve answers," Maloney said when the bill was introduced. "As the most scientifically advanced country in the world, we should be able to conduct a comprehensive study of the health effects of vaccines to restore absolute trust in the nation's vaccine program."

Allegations of a conflict of interest are flatly denied by the CDC.

"We do take our role here very seriously and we empathize with the parents of children with autism," said Curtis Allen, spokesman for the CDC, who said he could not comment directly on any specific legislation.

"(The) CDC is sensitive to concerns about potential conflicts of interest by employees, particularly given CDC research and recommendations can have substantial implications for vaccine manufacturers," Allen said. "The integrity of CDC’s vaccine safety research and its reputation for excellence are among the most valued assets of our agency."

As for the CDC's focus on vaccine safety, Allen said, "We carefully evaluate allegations of harmful vaccine effects and are prepared to adjust our policies if allegations prove scientifically valid."

In 2005, Dr. Frank DeStefano, acting chief of immunization safety for the CDC told, "Autism is a serious developmental disability and has a great effect on the individual and their families, and there is great impetus of need among families and society and the government to find out what is causing autism and what can be done to prevent it."

However, he said, the current body of evidence on the safety of vaccinations is strong.

“Our judgment is that vaccines are safe and the evidence today indicates that vaccines are not linked to autism," said DeStefano.

Still, Weldon questions whether the CDC's conclusions are based on enough sound, objective research, particularly in the area of mercury. Up until 2000, mercury-based thimerosal was used in all childhood vaccines as a preservative. Many blamed it for an increase in emerging autism cases.

Pharmaceutical companies stopped using thimerosal six years ago upon the recommendation of the federal government, even though the government never gave official acknowledgement that mercury levels in vaccines could cause developmental problems in children.

Government officials said that infants had not been exposed to high enough levels of mercury through the thimerosal, but its removal was done as "a precaution."

An independent study conducted by Drs. Mark and David Geier in 2003 concluded that a link does exist between thimerosal and autism. But the Institutes of Medicine, contracted by the CDC to study the possible linkage, released findings in 2004 that found no connection. That study is still used by the agency today as the official position on the issue.

Nevertheless, Wendy Fournier, a spokeswoman for the National Autism Association, contends that the CDC's lack of independence from industry influence, has contributed to a conflict of interest on its key panel for safety oversight. Most of the conflicts cited are attributed to members of the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices with financial ties to pharmaceutical companies making vaccines.

"We're hoping Congress does the right thing and sees the conflict here," said Wendy Fournier, spokeswoman for the National Autism Association.

Supporters deny that oversight panelists are clouded by conflicts of interest.

"As a current member of the Committee on Infectious Diseases of AAP (the American Academy of Pediatrics), I have attended many sessions where possible vaccine-associated adverse effects, either immediate or delayed, were discussed," said Dr. Lorry Rubin, chief of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Schneider Children's Hospital, Long Island.

"It has been my observation that all valid scientific information has been presented and discussed," Rubin said, adding, "My personal opinion of the studies of which I am aware, of possible vaccine adverse events performed by CDC, is that they were sound studies."

He said the AAP had no comment on the Weldon bill that would create a separate agency for vaccine safety.

Meanwhile, parents are struggling to understand how the number of autistic children ages 6 through 21 served by special education programs in the U.S. has increased 500 percent over the last decade, reaching more than 140,000 in 2004. Experts now estimate that one in every 166 children in the United States has been diagnosed with autism.

"I always thought these people raising concerns (about vaccines) were wackos," said Vicky Debold, a nurse and mother of an autistic child, and also director of the Coalition for SafeMinds.

Debold said she began intense research after her son was diagnosed, and started doubting the levels of mercury in the vaccines. But the body of evidence is woefully inadequate and needs to be increased.

"I think Rep. Weldon's bill is right on the mark," she said. "If the public understood that the government was trying to improve vaccines and addressing vaccine concerns, then the public would be more inclined to vaccinate with confidence."

By Pamt on Wednesday, October 11, 2006 - 03:46 pm:

Colette. I'd be interested in your source for that article if you have it. The tricky thing is that while there has been a significant "increase" in autism, there has also been a significant "decrease" in mental retardation. This is because many children diagnosed as mentally retarded are now labelled autistic, now that we know more about the particular spectrum of autism. The article sounds convincing, but it definitely involves some creative word play. And because it is politically motivated there is an emotional element and a motive to generate increased constituency as well.

By Colette on Wednesday, October 11, 2006 - 03:50 pm:,2933,219538,00.html

By Cocoabutter on Wednesday, October 11, 2006 - 03:56 pm:

That last year when the vaccine was in such short supply, we didn't get it, and we didn't get sick, either. I figure lots of fresh air helped, but also I used anti-septic mounthwash twice a day, which I had never used before.

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