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Flu Season Again - Flu Shots This Year? Anyone More Worried Than Usual?


iheartcats
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I usually get the standard flu shot, because having the flu with POTS is miserable. Now the news outlets are saying a good half of the USA population could catch H1N1, which is supposed to be harsh this fall/winter season (higher temps, more complications, etc).

I'm going to see my new PCP about the standard flu shot this week (I have a letter from my former EP saying I need this, am high risk) and I'm usually comfortable getting the standard shot.

I don't know about the upcoming H1N1 shot they are discussing. What has anyone heard of it? How do you think Dysautonomia/POTS will handle two shots (obviously they'd be spaced out at least by a month).

This is one flu I am personally worried about...usually I just deal with getting ill but this year I'm in a new area and away from my formers doctors who understood the seriousness of my illness. I am concerned if I do catch it and it gets bad, I won't be able to get the assistance/hospitalization I need. And I avoid going to the ER because they just don't get the POTS/Dysautonomia. Many can attest to how THAT often goes.

Are you guys aiming for both shots this year? How worried are you about the H1N1 flu? What can we do to get the care we need if things do go badly for us during a flu outbreak?

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I will not get the H1N1 shot and I won't allow either of my kids to get it.

They said in the 70's it was safe and it killed and injured more people than the flu.

I have a friend who has MS. When she was in the early stages of diagnosis, they thought her problems were due to having had the "swine" flu shot in the 70's. The neurologist she saw said he was seeing a number of people in their 50's who are just now showing symptoms related to that flu shot.

I don't understand why it is different than the regular flu shot.

I think most people find the regular flu shot is pretty safe.

I read that they are going to make some of the H1N1 without mercury for PG women and kids. Why oh Why do they still put mercury in the flu shot to begin with?

So, if anyone decides to get a flu shot, regular or H1N1, I would make sure it is with out mercury. I have no idea if mercury causes any problems but it just seems like a really bad idea to inject it into people.

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I will not get the H1N1 shot and I won't allow either of my kids to get it.

They said in the 70's it was safe and it killed and injured more people than the flu.

I have a friend who has MS. When she was in the early stages of diagnosis, they thought her problems were due to having had the "swine" flu shot in the 70's. The neurologist she saw said he was seeing a number of people in their 50's who are just now showing symptoms related to that flu shot.

I don't understand why it is different than the regular flu shot.

I think most people find the regular flu shot is pretty safe.

I read that they are going to make some of the H1N1 without mercury for PG women and kids. Why oh Why do they still put mercury in the flu shot to begin with?

So, if anyone decides to get a flu shot, regular or H1N1, I would make sure it is with out mercury. I have no idea if mercury causes any problems but it just seems like a really bad idea to inject it into people.

Jan --

I had no idea about the 1970s Swine Flu shot! What year(s) was it given out in? Now I'm very leary of getting it - I'm already showing signs of some autoimmune issues and really don't want to add to that.

The regular flu shot I handle...but what is the different with the Swine Flu? I'd really like to know what makes it so dangerous, it has to be something!

And mercury, no. If you break a CFL bulb now you have to very carefully clean it up and that's a minute amount of mercury. So why still in the flu shot? Didn't they learn the bad effects of Mercury enough in the 17th and 18th century?

:blink:

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The shot was given in 1976. People got Guillain-Barr? syndrome from it.

This is from Wikipedia.

Overall, there were 1098 cases of Guillain-Barr? Syndrome (GBS) recorded nationwide by CDC surveillance, 532 of which were linked to the NIIP vaccination, resulting in death from severe pulmonary complications for 25 people, which, according to Dr. P. Haber, were probably caused by an immunopathological reaction to the 1976 vaccine. Other influenza vaccines have not been linked to GBS, though caution is advised for certain individuals, particularly those with a history of GBS. Still, as observed by a participant in the immunization program, the vaccine killed more Americans than the disease did.

Because so many of us don't know the cause of our POTS or have had Guillain-Barr? or other auto immune problems, the vaccine scares me.

I can not find any info on why it is different than other flu vaccines or that it is made any different than in 1976.

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I get NO VACCINES and certainly not something rushed to market on fear mongering and $$ for drug companies.

I know of a pharmacist who says this recent vaccine is terrible with some mutant straing.

Just be careful and if you have to wear a mask over your face. wash your face and open windows in stuffy places "if you can".

Biggest issue is for those with kids or who work. People need to STAY HOME when sick...companies need to enforce that but it won't be easy.

Even w/o mercury these vaccines are horrible..same thing with that Gardasil (sp) they give to little girls for condyloma (sp) virus...some have died from that or gotten blood clots.

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NOPE not getting it. I stopped getting flu shots. I am basically healthy even tho I do have an autoimmune disease.

I see this amazing nutritionist who warned against gettng the regular flu shot.

Call me a skeptic..but getting "detoxed" from mercury more than one time (along with my 2 baby grandsons)

MY belief is that its a hoax to make money for pharmaceuticals. They put a scare in us.. warn us its coming when the FLU comes every year and more die from it WITH the flu shot. Sorry for those of you that believe in these shots.

AS I said.. I see my nutritionist.. he has a very safe whole food nutrient for building up one's immune system

It works for me.. and keeps me going.

Good luck with this stuff.

Jan

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Hi,

I try not to overdue the vaccines. And really don't like to get anything new on the market. I got what I needed for school, which was much than I wanted to do, especially in short period of time. I don't do the annual vaccines because they are always so hit and miss on whether or not they work on the strain of flu that is prevalant that year etc. Not to mention you have to get one so frequently (yearly). So, I do not see myself getting either. I am more wary of the H1N1 vaccine due to what was previously mentioned about its track record and that they are talking about releasing it even before all the testing trials are completed. It sounds like a recipe for disaster and I don't want to be part of it. Instead, like others mentioned I will try to take other precautions and avoid people who are sick.

I recently learned that one of my blood tests were quite high back when I got a bunch of my school vaccines. I don't remember the name of the tests, but it tests for inflammation or something of the central nervous system (spinal cord). It has since gone back to normal, but it may help to explain why things got so extra rough when I started grad school. I have had dys. my whole life, but the time I was in grad school was when everything spiraled out of control and I finally started to find out what was wrong with me.

But, everyone's circumstances are different, so what works for me may not for you. I will not be working around people on a daily basis, don't have kids in the house etc. So, I don't run into the risk of infection as much as many others do.

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I won't get either flu vaccine. I'm one that almost died from a reg flu shot & believe it is what started a lot of my illness. I had a lady from the health dept tell me she would never take the shot because she had seen to many reactions to it. She said you should read the list of side effects & things that could happen from getting the flu shot. They make everyone sign a form before they give them the vaccine. I don't remember ever having to sign anything before getting a flu shot.

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The form that you have to sign to get a regular flu shot is just to acknowledge that you are not allergic to eggs or ....one other thing - sorry, brain fog. I get the regular flu shot every year, and have had no trouble with it. My boyfriend teaches at a high school, and they have the shots free for the teachers - he always gets that. I'm unsure yet about the new vaccines, I guess there are two shots required for the new strain. I think I'll go with what my PCP says, because I really trust her advice.

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I get the flu shot nearly yearly and have had no reactions/problems. Correct, it can/will be a problem if you are allergic to eggs. The H1N1 makes me nervous, but my understanding is that it is being created the same way the regular flu shot is produced.

BTW, swine flu never spread beyond Fort Dix in 1976. That's why the vaccine killed more people than the disease itself. There is a risk with any vaccine.

We may or may not be so lucky this time.

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I received the swine flu shot in 1976 and remember feeling like I had the flu for a few days afterwards. I feel fortunate that was my only side effect.

I got a regular flu shot a few years ago and ended up being sick with a flu like illness for 5 weeks afterwards. There was probably no connection to the shot and my getting sick but now I'm afraid to get one.

I'm especially concerned about the safety of the H1N1 shot because it's still so new and they rushed to make it.

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Last week I asked my neuro/POTS specialist in Balitmore about getting the regular & swine flu shots and he said he has no problem with his POTS patients getting the regular flu shot, but to avoid the swine flu shot till there has been better testing on it. He mentioned the 1970s shot mentioned above in other posts - and said it did cause autoimmune problems and the government had to reimburse people. He warned against anything that might exacerbate POTS symptoms ? and as this is an unknown, it could cause more problems in the end.

I plan to heed his warning, but I am also worried about swine flu. I'm sure many of us are the same... we stay sick longer and take longer to get back on our feet. I'm going to be anal retentive about hand-washing!! And maybe try to pick up some surgical masks at a medical supply store before they run out (which they will when things get going). One of my docs was telling me that other countries are already having people wear masks in crowds, which makes me wonder when that will start here. It's horrible to feel/sound paranoid, but with us POTSies it seems prudent :)

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I also haven't had any real issues with the normal flu shot - some years it doesn't work unfortunately! But I think I'll continue with that (and was advised on getting it by my EP before I moved when they are ready).

I am very hesitant getting the swine flu shot. I hope I can get in to talk to a Rheumotologist about symptoms, etc. and just see what they have to say. I don't think I'll get the swine flu shot, though.

I am concerned about crowds. I'm looking for work and that means mass transit + office. How much do surgical masks protect you? Are they worth it in the mass transit situation? I'd rather be safe than sorry. But in this job market it might be months before I find something anyway... :/ Not sure when the Swine Flu is supposed to take hold.

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Is the swine flu itself really worse than standard annual flu--or is it being hyped by the media? 30,000 +/- people die from flu every year...are a higher % dying from swine flu?

"They" (Media) are guessing that 90,000 US citizens will die from swine flu this year. I have an impaired immune system and will be getting both vaccines. I have had the flu shot before without incident. Dr. Rowe at Hopkins says folks with dysautonomia have to be careful with the flu vaccines. He says, if you've had it before without incident, feel free to do so again. I haven't asked about the swine flu vaccine.

Julie

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I recently read projections that said 90000 may die in the US from the swine flu. As opposed to 30000 from the regular flu. So it is thought to be serious.

Personally I am up in the air as to what to do. I have gotten the regular flu shot and do have reactions to it - last year I felt very symptomatic for a few days but figure it was worth it not to have the flu. But I am very nervous about the new vaccine because of the issues in the 70s and don't know if I want to have my preschooler vaccinated as well. I am so nervous about her getting sick because preschools are germ manufacturers so then I think I'm nuts not to give it to her. Then I think what if what happened to me and my dys is because of some genetic oredisposition and what if I pased that on to her and the vaccine triggers it for her?

I am going to talk to my doctor and her pediatrician but honestly don't know if they will be much help. I'm expecting both of them to say its no big deal and not to worry. And maybe they'll be right but I just don't know what to do!

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Haven't had flu shot before. Probably won't start this year, but not sure. Tough call. It's something that "group managers" push because of social statistics and the fact that even those for whom a flu is mild or uneventful transit it to others (such as more immuno-compromised or otherwise vulnerable). Extremely poignant example of group vs. individual perspectives on health management. Lost ancestors in the world-wide-flu epidemic, so I know such things are possible even though this likely won't turn into that (fingers crossed). One amazing thing I (and many others learned) from this swine flu "hype" is that there are an incredible number of "regular flu" deaths annually.

I'd prefer to simply live on a remote island for a while (hmm... wait a minute... I already do :) I do plan to do some minor "contingency plan" things like making sure there isn't anything too major going on in my life this coming flu season (in case I am down for an extended period of time). I have the luxury of having no dependents.

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Is the swine flu itself really worse than standard annual flu--or is it being hyped by the media? 30,000 +/- people die from flu every year...are a higher % dying from swine flu?

"They" (Media) are guessing that 90,000 US citizens will die from swine flu this year. I have an impaired immune system and will be getting both vaccines. I have had the flu shot before without incident. Dr. Rowe at Hopkins says folks with dysautonomia have to be careful with the flu vaccines. He says, if you've had it before without incident, feel free to do so again. I haven't asked about the swine flu vaccine.

Julie

Do you have a link to where Dr Rowe said that about dysautonomia and flu shots? If not....do you know why he said we need to be careful?

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I always get the flu shot. My doctor schedules labs and a visit in October and I get the shot then. My PCP has seen the extreme symptoms I develop with viruses and told me to get the vaccines. I've never had a reaction. I probably will get the H1N1 vaccine if it's available. My hubby is a teacher and doesn't get sick ever, but always brings home the bugs to me :) .

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I have every intention of getting both. My doctor reminds me every year to get the flu shot. I have severe uncontrolled asthma so I will be in the high risk group for the swine flu. I have never had a reaction to one and have only ever had a sore achy arm. I got the swine flu vaccine back in 76 too. I've almost died from regular flu so I don't want to deal with one that impacts me even more.

btw, from what I have read, around 40 million were innoculated, and under a 1,000 were negatively impacted. Those are pretty decent odds in my book.

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HI all, I just wanted to add my 2 cents (which might be worth less than 1 :wub:! Anyway I asked about this at Mayo and I was told to get all three shots this year. Like many of you I have had terrible drug reactions. My reactions range from near death ( now I have an epi pen) to hives for a month. I was told to take benedryl and get the shots b/c a fever would be worse for me. I plan on trying to get the shots from my allergist and see if I can get them without the additives. Everyone needs to make their own choice but I was told that it is more risky to get sick then to get the shots. Best Wishes all Kay Jay

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Wow! You've really given me a lot to think about and I'm going to research this a lot more before I have my Potsy daughter get either shot. I was so ready after watching something on the news about the swine flu and now, I'm not so sure what to do! My daughter, Liz has actually never had the regular flu shot and has been very healthy so I don't really think of her as having a compromised immune system. I guess I'll ask her pediatrician and see what he thinks and make my decision then.

Also, you can get a mild case of H1N1. My next door neighbor and her baby got a mild case of it last spring.

I do think a lot of this is media hype. We live in a world in which we are innundated with information 24/7. I think it's good to take precautions and use common sense, like hand washing. My daughter's problem is that she can't stand long enough at school to wash her hands so she uses hand santizer. I guess I'll be sending her to school next week with a big bottle of that!

Thanks for making me think hard about this,

Brenda

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Do you have a link to where Dr Rowe said that about dysautonomia and flu shots? If not....do you know why he said we need to be careful?

Sorry, no link. I just asked him at an appointment. The inference was that some dysautonomia patients have negative side effects with the flu shot. Since my son had had a shot without a negative consequence, he said he was safe to get another. I have not specifically asked him about the swine flu vaccine, but I will in my next E-Mail and post his response.

Julie

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I lived through the last swine flu epidemic decades ago. I think you have to consider this with your doctor(s) to know if the vaccine is right for you. Personally, I get the flu and pneumonia shots... never had any reaction other than just feeling mildly sick for a few days... not any worse than a mildly bad day for me otherwise.

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