Don’t Forget a Flu Shot for the Holidays “Holiday gatherings can be an ideal place to catch an infection. Here are three good reasons to get an H1N1 and seasonal flu shot (or nose spray) right now.” [Consumer Reports Health]


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  1. Ilovegnomes says:

    I’m wondering if the recent recall is going to impact supplies.

    • Kuchen says:

      There is enough in Minnesota that the Health Department lifted all restrictions this week and the H1N1 vaccine is available to anyone that wants it.

      • Jesse says:

        Same in Nebraska but they are still going to give priority to high risk groups. Regarding the recall, with lines being virtually nonexistant at recent clinics in my area, unless demand spikes when things go to the general population, I don’t think the recall will be much of an issue.

  2. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    How much is the H1N1 shot going for these days? The CDC just recalled about 800,000 H1N1 shots for kids because they lose strength over time, and decrease in strength as they sit, waiting to be used.

    What if you suspect you had the flu or even H1N1 earlier in the year but never went to the doctor so it could be confirmed? I guess there’s reason to be better safe than sorry, but I’m pretty sure I had one or the other earlier in the year, and the CDC data seems to point to H1N1.

    • Fred E. says:

      There are free H1N1 clinics in most cities. I got mine the other day at the health department and didn’t even have to wait–it took about 15 minutes and most of that was for me to fill out the paperwork.

    • kalaratri says:

      Mine was free from the county, but with our insurance flu shots are ‘free’ anyway.

    • nagumi says:

      You can’t without a frankly pointless antibody test.

      It’s like this: statistically, your odds of major side effects from the vaccine is lower than your odds of a major infection from the injection site.

  3. dolemite says:

    I dunno…society seemed to do pretty well before flu shots became all the rage. I think it is just more of our mentality of “I have so much work to do, I don’t have time to be sick for 3-4 days..I can’t afford to miss that much work”. Just a sad state of affairs as far as our work ethic in America these days. We used to shake our heads at how Japan overworked it’s worker class (50,60,70 hour weeks), and here we are a few years later, in exactly the same place. And it is a catch 22…the more overworked you are, the more likely you are to develop health problems, eat poorly, have a lowered immune system, etc.

    • Fred E. says:

      Um, did you know something like 50 million people died in the 1918 flu pandemic?

      • dolemite says:

        I’m pretty sure flu shots only became popular in the last 10 years or so, and each year, the media loves to fuel the frenzy with “there may be shortages this year”, so people run out in a panic to snatch them up. I swear I don’t remember anything about getting shots outside of mumps, measles, etc, before that. I’m sure some people had them, but it wasn’t the “in” thing to do.

        • Julia789 says:

          Prior to scares of Avian flu a few years ago, and now scares of H1N1, flu shots were mostly given out to employees (as a perk) hospital workers, teachers, nurses, elderly (important for them) and those with underlying health conditions would get it from their doctors, usually during checkups, etc.

          Avian flu, being so deadly and having possibility of mutating with a strain that is easily transmissable (like H1N1) made people more fearful and want to start being more prepared. Perhaps this is a good thing, although I dislike the panic that was induced, I think people should pay attention to the risk of a deadly flu like Avian strain, mutating and becoming widespread. H1N1 we appear to have been lucky so far, although tragically many healthy children died from it.

          My son’s teacher, her 6-year-old was in hospital on a respirator for days with H1N1, and almost died. No underlying health conditions – very healthy child. Very frightening. Thank God he’s OK now. For children with asthma or other health problems, the risk is even greater.

          Pneumonia can be a problem along with flu. Make sure you have a pneumonia shot, which fights the bacterial strain. Kids born in the last few years get it as part of their regular shots. Adults should ask their doctor about getting one themselves. One shot lasts for years – like 20 years. Some flu shot clinics offer them too, such as major drugstores. The shot does not fight viral pneumonia, only bacterial, but it can make a difference that is life or death.

    • darklighter says:

      I think it has more to do with the fact that getting the flu sucks.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I agree. Just because I can stay home for a few days to recover from the flu does not mean I actually am okay with getting the flu. It sucks. I hate staying home sick. News flash: I like work. I like going to work, I like doing work, I like my coworkers. Staying at home because I’m dizzy, nauseated, and cant breathe properly is not something I would like.

    • Shoelace says:

      Agree that overwork can weaken the immune system but the bigger problem is people showing up to work when they’re sick and spreading it around. Unlike Japan, people in the US don’t often put on masks and this puts everyone else – especially people at high risk for complications – into a tough spot. The flu vaccine helps protect against spread and helps protect high risk people (if they get the shot) from complications/death, especially from H1N1.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      I think it has more to do with the fact that most people don’t get any kind of paid time off and can’t afford to miss a week of work financially.

    • nagumi says:

      Yeah, we did great before vaccines. I miss smallpox, polio, mumps, measles, whooping cough and rabies.

      Remember, the steam engine was invented before vaccines!

  4. Red_Eye says:


  5. scoosdad says:

    The recommendation for getting a flu shot (either kind, seasonal or H1N1) for the holidays is great, provided your holiday starts around Jan 1st. From the CDC’s website:

    In addition, vaccines are not effective immediately after administration. At least 2 weeks must pass for the vaccine to take effect.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      So if you take your kid to the doctors to get a flu shot, it’s as if UPS and Fedex were the companies sending you your packages during Christmas – you order it now, but it won’t get here until two weeks later!

    • nagumi says:

      That’s sorta true – they don’t reach full effectiveness for awhile. Most of the effectiveness is there after 7 days, though. At least, that’s how it is for most veterinary vaccines.

  6. justsomeotherguy says:

    then insert whatever carlin had to say here.

  7. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I had the flu a ways back, and it’s very possible that it was H1N1. I couldn’t get a shot for that, but I did get the regular one later.

    My boss put hand sanitizer all over the office. I have one on my desk all the time, not because of the flu, but because I heard that office desks are dirtier than a toilet. Yeesh!

  8. rm1x says:

    H1N1 is nowhere near as bad as it;s made out to be, it’s just big pharma cashing in.

    It’s really scary to see how many people comply like sheep from the fear mongering.

    • Fred E. says:

      Yeah, only 10,000 people have died from H1N1 this year. In the U.S. anyway.

    • nagumi says:

      I have two reasons for wanting the vaccine:
      1) I don’t want to get sick.
      2) I don’t want to be the one who infects someone in a high risk group.

      That’s why the govt wants us all vaccinated (even healthy people) – so we don’t infect others. I don’t really care if some asshole gets rich because we’re all a bit overcautious. Better this than the alternative – namely, some asshole getting rich running a hospital, selling surgical masks or making coffins.

    • floraposte says:

      I don’t think you’re understanding. H1N1 is only about as bad as the usual seasonal flu–which kills thousands of people every year. That’s why flu shots for seasonal flu are also a good thing. The risk from receiving the shot is exponentially lower (lots more people have gotten H1N1 shots than H1N1, and yet the shots haven’t killed anybody) than the risk from getting sick. Nor do you get any better future resistance from getting the disease. Sure, odds are you’ll be okay, even if you get sick for a while, without the vaccine, so skipping it isn’t that big a deal. But the odds of being okay are considerably better if you get it. It’s sort of like locking your door. Odds of your being burgled on a given day are pretty small, but they’re a lot smaller if you lock your door.

      Something isn’t inherently bad just because many people are doing it, and one can be sheeplike in resistance as well as in compliance.

      One can be sheeplike in paranoia as well as in compliance.

  9. nagumi says:

    Today I got a call from a client whose sister in law, a healthy 38 year old woman with no risk factors whatsoever, died from swine flu this morning. I confirmed the story by reading about it in the paper (well, the paper’s website. Print is dead). Damn straight I’m getting my swine flu shot (already got my regular one a month ago). It becomes available for the public at large here (Israel) on Sunday, free of charge and without prescription.

    Btw, I don’t work in a field that would make me more likely to hear such a story – I run a dog boarding service. NOT a self-selecting sample.

  10. BeerManMike says:

    Thanks to the fear mongering we are now in a self-perpetuating state of catching up to a virus getting more and more deadly every season due to vaccines. So both those that take them and those that don’t get screwed by a ever stronger virus. Let your immune system do the work and take care of yourself.

    Second, don’t lay in bed for 3 days while reading chicken soup for the soul, while actually eating chicken soup. If your sick with the flu take 2-3 showers a day, change clothes every time, exercise, wash your hands alot, no medicine, be active, drink lots of fluids (beer is great!), eat whatever you want (pizza, chinese, fast food). Sitting around slows your heart rate, blood pressure, etc…. How are you going to fight something off when you’re all drugged up, laying around like a zombie?

    • Kuchen says:

      I have many things I could say in response to your comment, but I’m going to stick with the least inflammatory:

      Beer is one of the worst things you could drink when you’re sick. Alcohol is a diuretic. It takes water out of your body. It will make you more dehydrated and make you feel worse.

    • Fred E. says:


    • floraposte says:

      Just to clarify, flu vaccines don’t have an effect on the future flu viruses. You’re confusing vaccines and antibiotic approaches to bacteria. And immunity from a vaccine is the same as immunity from getting the disease, except that you don’t have to get the disease. Your antibodies will look exactly the same.

  11. H3ion says:

    I already have the hypodermics. Now I just have to find a way to make my flu shots at home.