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care bear 1
25+ people at the NYE party I was at got a pretty nasty flu. Get your damn flu shot.
Posted by care bear on January 8, 2013 at 2:11 PM · Report this
sirkowski 2
I'm beginning to think I've been immunized from most of the flu and cold strains last season, because everyone around me keeps coughing and I haven't been sick yet. I usually catch any flu or cold as soon as it's going around. I guess I'm getting a breather before the next mutations.
Posted by sirkowski on January 8, 2013 at 2:16 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 4
We do autism research and the flawed study about vaccines was disproven.

So, Yes.
Posted by Will in Seattle on January 8, 2013 at 2:16 PM · Report this
Amalink 6
I'm allergic to so many antibiotics, hormones, all kinds of crazy shit that i can hardly eat anymore for all the crap they put into 'food". And you want me to pay someone to inject me with god-knows-what? I'd rather get sick, lay on the couch for a week watching bad daytime tv, and lose 10 lbs for not eating.
Posted by Amalink on January 8, 2013 at 2:29 PM · Report this
heywhatsit!? 7
Anyone know where they give them free, or close to free for uninsured, broke slobs like me?
Posted by heywhatsit!? on January 8, 2013 at 2:32 PM · Report this
I'd never gotten a flu shot till yesterday, since that's not a type of sickness I get. However, I fell for the "don't be the contagion-spreading dick" argument.
Posted by patbareb on January 8, 2013 at 2:32 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 9
I'm a veteran so I get the shot in November at the VA. I've been sick with the flu for a week. So...
Posted by Pope Peabrain on January 8, 2013 at 2:34 PM · Report this
I got the flu over the Christmas holiday. I've never been so sick in my life. I spent seven days in bed (literally). I had a temp of 103, and had to go to the emergency room for a chest x-ray. I tested positive for influenza A, and am STILL coughing two weeks later, even though I took the full course of tamilflu.

I'm pretty healthy and fit, but if someone with a compromised immune system caught this bug, it could definitely kill them. Getting the flu shot isn't just about protecting YOU from getting sick, but about improving the herd immunity, too. When you have a flu shot, you make it less likely that your colleagues/family/strangers will get sick.
Posted by arts&letters on January 8, 2013 at 2:35 PM · Report this
Also, when I went to the emergency room, the doc told me that the flu shot isn't protecting everyone this year. SO, if you get the shot, you might still get sick, but it's a whole lot less likely that you will.
Posted by arts&letters on January 8, 2013 at 2:36 PM · Report this
evilvolus 13
@7 - I think they're like $10 at Walgreens.
Posted by evilvolus on January 8, 2013 at 2:37 PM · Report this
Brooklyn Reader 14
I wish they had vaccines for everything. I hate getting sick. Also, shit that I would have survived when I was younger is more likely to kill me now. Plus, there's all these new diseases. (Ebola, anyone? SARS? Legionaires'? MRSA? Tea Partying?) So, if somebody can concoct a vaccine for it and my medical insurance covers it, and my doctor blesses it, bring it on.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on January 8, 2013 at 2:38 PM · Report this
I don't get the shot and haven't had the flu in 20+ years.
Posted by nador on January 8, 2013 at 2:44 PM · Report this
blip 16
Thanks for this. I had the flu last year for the first time in over 20 years, followed by a nasty secondary infection. I was sick for over 2 weeks.

@6 If you're allergic to antibiotics you should definitely be up to date on your vaccinations because your treatment options are limited. If you're concerned about what is contained in the vaccine you could always look it up. Ignorance is a lousy excuse for not doing something when you have the entire internet at your fingertips.
Posted by blip on January 8, 2013 at 2:55 PM · Report this
@15 Part of the reason that you haven't is that a lot of people do get the vaccine. As a few others mentioned, it isn't just about keeping yourself from getting sick, it's also about keeping the spread of the disease in check. So your 20+ years without it are on the coattails of all the people who do get vaccinated.

@12 And it seems, at least anecdotally that those who still catch it even though vaccinated are generally not getting as sick for as long as the unvaccinated.

This is a harsh bug this year. Two kids have died of it already at the smallish hospital my sister works for in Michigan (where the outbreak is so serious that national reserves of Tamiflu have been released because the drugstores are out). Influenza isn't a bad cold. It is, among other things, a serious fever and body aches like you have probably never experienced. And it often lasts 10 days or more.

Posted by kitsapien on January 8, 2013 at 3:03 PM · Report this
Just wash your hands after you poop, and don't stick your finger in someones mouth, then put that finger in your mouth/eye/nose.
Posted by MoreDrexTalkin on January 8, 2013 at 3:04 PM · Report this
@16: "Ignorance is a lousy excuse for not doing something when you have the entire internet at your fingertips. "

Well said....except for my observation that folks who tend to be the most anti-vaccine also tend to be the least internet savvy. I've got a few anti-vaccine acquaintances and they're always clinking on every link in every email and coming down with computer viruses. Maybe people who aren't good at biological evolution have similar problems with cultural evolution?
Posted by gnossos on January 8, 2013 at 3:05 PM · Report this
originalcinner 20
I don't think that, even if vaccines did cause autism, which they don't, I'd get autism at my age.

I have had flu twice and I believe my healthy immune system can deal with it, but it totally sucked both times. I had hallucinations that there were bats in my closet.

I get the shot for herd immunity. "Think of the children". I don't even like children, but they don't deserve to get flu from me.
Posted by originalcinner on January 8, 2013 at 3:14 PM · Report this
Jaymz 21
@12 and @17 - I got the shot on December 3rd but still got sick, sick, sick between Christmas and New Years, and I'm still hacking up stuff - but no regrets and I encourage everyone to step up. Guess I'm just one of those where it didn't "take", or maybe I was too late somehow.
Posted by Jaymz on January 8, 2013 at 3:14 PM · Report this
There is no "I am a shut-in who never has any human contact" option. I feel silenced by this poll.

I haven't gotten a flu shot. I'm also a hermit who lives in the middle of nowhere, works from home and would have to drive for an hour or more to get somewhere where I can get a flu shot.

So it's not a big priority for me right now, but I think they're very valuable for most normal people. Especially if you're ever exposed to children.
Posted by Zuulabelle on January 8, 2013 at 3:25 PM · Report this
Dougsf 23
I did not get my shot, but I did get my actual flu for the first time in years. Wasn't fun. We did in-office vaccinations, but it looks like a different flu strain made the rounds big-time in my office.

I don't think it will ever happen in this country (short of an epidemic), but if we want to lower flu and related mortality rates, we need to vaccinate school children.
Posted by Dougsf on January 8, 2013 at 3:29 PM · Report this
@21 At least you can console yourself with the realization that if you hadn't gotten the shot you might well STILL be at the sick, sick, sick stage.
Posted by kitsapien on January 8, 2013 at 3:38 PM · Report this
@2: I don't think Typhoid Mary ever got sick from Typhoid.
Posted by tiktok on January 8, 2013 at 3:42 PM · Report this
Arsenic7 26
I didn't get the shot and I paid for it by having an annoying and persistent flu-like thing for 10 goddamn days. I was only sick enough to get off work 1 of those days. Fuck.

Some things to note about this years vaccine.

It's cheaper and easier to get than ever.

Analysis has shown it to be very effective this year because they accurately predicted the most common variety of flu.

There are still other strains of flu this won't protect you against, and the vaccine will only protect you about 60% of the time (or so I hear).

Still, take that chance! Better to get a very minor allergic reaction (which you shouldn't get unless you are allergic to eggs, I believe) than to be annoyingly sick for ten goddamn days.

Protect yourself and others so idiots like me who think they are young and healthy don't fuck over the rest of you.
Posted by Arsenic7 on January 8, 2013 at 3:46 PM · Report this
rob! 27
Rather high granularity, but the situation [colors] have worsened a lot in recent weeks.

I got my shot this year as I have for the past 10 years, but something different happened--the county health nurse stabbed me about midway down the upper arm instead of in the fattest part of the deltoid, and I had an immediate sensation like an electric shock as it went in (I assume she struck a nerve directly). Very little injection-site pain the next day, but over the next few weeks I had a growing dull ache in the entire arm that, over months (got the shot Sept. 26) spread through my shoulder to my spine and left the medial aspect of my middle finger numb (can still extend it above the other fingers, thanks for asking).

Filed a report with the gubmint's Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, which exists for that specific purpose.

To be clear, I absolutely believe in the safety and efficacy of the seasonal flu vaccine and would much rather have the tolerable side effects I got this one time to even a day of the actual flu. But shit does happen. If you see your shotmeister aiming for anywhere but the near-top-of-the-shoulder, yell "Stop!" and ask WTF?!

@7, call your county health department. I usually pay $7 for my annual shot.
Posted by rob! on January 8, 2013 at 3:46 PM · Report this
In August, apparently the first week this year's was available (I work in education, so I get it as soon as possible before all the new bugs start hitting campus from all over the country). Remember, the vaccine takes about two weeks to build your system's immune response, so if you get it today, you're not really covered until after the inauguration. That's no reason not to go this afternoon and get it done.
For me, it packed a bit of a wallop this year. I didn't feel sick after getting it, but I did feel like I was fighting something for about three days (increased immune response). Totally worth it to not be bedridden for a week.
Posted by usagi on January 8, 2013 at 3:52 PM · Report this
rob! 29
Also, re: 27, when you get the shot, ask for & keep a data sheet on which is recorded date, time, manufacturer, and lot # of what you were given, in case you have a batch-specific reaction.
Posted by rob! on January 8, 2013 at 3:54 PM · Report this
Three of my band members got their shots, yet we might have to cancel rehearsal because they're all sick this week.
Posted by BallardBoy on January 8, 2013 at 3:59 PM · Report this
treacle 31
No, because apparently flu shots have mercury in them!

Ok, that's not why I don't get them. I don't get flu shots because my immune system is awesome and I don't get very sick... AND I was my hands very thoroughly and regularly. :>P

By the way, did you know "More than 90% of this year's flu vaccine supply will contain 25 micrograms of mercury" ?!?!

Eat more miso soup, apparently it pulls heavy metals from the body.
Posted by treacle on January 8, 2013 at 4:15 PM · Report this
Gern Blanston 32
Bartell Drugs started offering flu shots at a discounted rate in September. That's when I got mine. Haven't been sick all season.
Posted by Gern Blanston on January 8, 2013 at 4:17 PM · Report this
@6: I wish that's what the flu was...

Last winter I decided not to get a flu shot. Hadn't had the flu since I was a kid, but had been getting it because too many disease-carriers at work don't seem to care they are still contagious and come in anyway. I ended up very sick (peak temp 105 for about an hour, 103 for another six hours), shivering in bed having fever dreams despite the electric blanket on high, two jackets on, and a heater. I kept trying to drink water when I could so I wouldn't die from dehydration. It was a living nightmare. Realistically, I should have gone to the hospital, but I was so delirious that I kept telling my fiance (now wife) that I was okay and just needed to sleep some more.

People die from the flu. The CDC estimates between 3,000 and 49,000 people die every year from it (variable due to the nature of the pathogen). Sure, other sicknesses you stay home and sniffle, maybe feel some body pain or a slight fever. The flu, the bad flu, isn't that. It's not fun, and I'm getting my shots from now on (provided there isn't a shortage, then elderly/kids first, since they're most likely to die).
Posted by Tawnos on January 8, 2013 at 4:25 PM · Report this
Arsenic7 34

Treacle, that's a lot of balogna.

There are non-mercury versions available. One of them isn't even a shot, it's a nasal mist.

Then there is the fact that the amount of mercury in a vaccine is less than is contained in a single serving of tuna fish from a can. Meaning if you eat pretty much any fish you get more mercury than that in your meal.

Then there is the fact that the miso soup thing is bullshit. Also things that pull heavy metals from your body are generally bullshit unless you suffer from heavy metal poisoning in which case you should stop listening to Slayer.
Posted by Arsenic7 on January 8, 2013 at 4:48 PM · Report this
@31, I hope you're being ironic instead of stupid.
Posted by sarah70 on January 8, 2013 at 4:50 PM · Report this
internet_jen 36
At my work we either have to get one, or go through some edu w/ a nurse and sign a wavier. I got shot, takes less time and I get it done w/ my annual TB test (for work also).
Posted by internet_jen on January 8, 2013 at 4:50 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 37
I had to get a shot because I am required to by my place of employment, and I haven't got the flu in years until the swine flu rolled around in 2010 that hit something awful.

The shot does tend to make me feel spacey and general shitty for a few days.

31 has a good point.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on January 8, 2013 at 4:50 PM · Report this
God I hope all those people who voted for option 3 are joking. I don't want to believe that other people still believe that bullshit....
Posted by gnarly on January 8, 2013 at 4:54 PM · Report this
ScienceNerd 41
I like being sick, it's the only time I get a vacation day. No shot for me!!!
Posted by ScienceNerd on January 8, 2013 at 5:20 PM · Report this
leek 42
Oops. Without thinking much about it, I thought the flu shot was one of the ones you really should only bother to get if you are young, elderly, or around the young or elderly. I didn't realize it was one of the everyone-should-get-it-herd-immunity vaccinations. Now I feel like a bad citizen. I bet the flu virus deliberately lulled me into complacency by not infecting me for the last couple of decades, planning on just this course of events.

As soon as I get my new insurance card, I'll go get it. Dammit.
Posted by leek on January 8, 2013 at 5:28 PM · Report this
kevomatic 43
I usually get a flu shot in October, but I caught the flu in early September this season. It's a nasty one for sure. Get vaccinated, people!
Posted by kevomatic on January 8, 2013 at 6:01 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 44
Trying to discuss things with anti-vaccine people is like trying to discuss things with gun nuts.

No amount of reasonableness on your part will result in reasonableness on their part.
Posted by Will in Seattle on January 8, 2013 at 6:09 PM · Report this
how about an option that says "my employer requires me to get the damn flu shot, like it or not!"
Posted by high and bi on January 8, 2013 at 6:12 PM · Report this
Here's how flu works. There are often mulitple strains, and the vaccine manufacturers try to predict which ones are going to be nasty and focus on those. This year, they appear to have missed one. So get your shot, but don't be surprised if you still get the flu. Had to take my wife to the ER for her fever last weekend, while sick myself, despite us both having had the shot. The internist's best guess was flu.

OH, and be prepared to call around to find Tamiflu, as others have mentioned. They're running out.
Posted by STJA on January 8, 2013 at 7:20 PM · Report this
emma's bee 47
Yes, got mine early this Fall. I've been healthy, as has everyone I know of who got it. Several coworkers who did not were stricken with flu.
Posted by emma's bee on January 8, 2013 at 7:44 PM · Report this
One good thing about the VA...they're all over the flu shots. I got mine early on in the fall.
Posted by Corydon on January 8, 2013 at 10:13 PM · Report this
First season getting my flu shot. I always figured germ exposure was useful, but between being worried that I'd give something horrible to my grandparents and being out for a week and a zombie for another in APRIL, I caved. My sinuses revolted last week, but other than that, so far so good.

Also, all those bus riders who are too engrossed in their smartphones to cough in their elbows can go to hell and cough on each other there.

ALSO! My flu shot was free this year, because I'm under a new plan that has to adhere to Obamacare. HELL YES.
Posted by snakes on January 8, 2013 at 11:47 PM · Report this
I've only gotten the flu shot once, when it was a requirement, mostly because I'm a lazy, partly because I'm also a broke slob. I wash my hands religiously, avoid touching handles with my bare hands, and avoid the workplace telephone when someone's clearly sick. Going back to childhood, I can't remember once having the flu.

However, maybe I'll do it this year, since you people are saying that it's cheap at Walgreens or some other store. I think I read somewhere that influenza kills more people than any other pathogen. Some of the personal flu stories in this thread have reminded me of how bad it is. Unlike a cold, when you get the flu, you can't get out of bed. So maybe I'll take the chance that the nurse will aim wrong with her injection and get the shot, for herd immunity and piece of mind. I'm still washing my hands, though.

BTW, shouldn't the third poll option also say "because I am a total idiot"?
Posted by floater on January 9, 2013 at 12:03 AM · Report this

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