Friday, October 2, 2009

Spreading Some Facts

A lot of my friends and co-workers have gotten the flu shot. I plan on doing the same thing as soon as I can haul my tuchus into a Dr.'s office.

Many of my friends and co-workers adamantly refuse vaccinations to varying degrees. Many of my friends and co-workers loudly proclaim they've gotten the flu from the shot. One has a fever and a runny nose. One has a violently upset digestive tract. One has asthma and a few others just feel like crap with feverish aches and ennui.

Let's talk about the flu shot. I know nobody really reads this website, but there's so much bad information going around that I thought I'd put my two cents in for the non-dark side of internet panic-mongering. The information that follows comes from a website I trust: , and is backed up by some pretty interesting science which I not only learned about in high school but is also among the primary functions of my beloved husband in his own lab full of experiments.

Mostly, I wish people would remember that if they’re online blogging about how the flu shot gave them the flu and how mad they are… they probably have a cold and not a full case of influenza. Most people who have the flu often don’t feel well enough to tweet it. People with colds should still stay home and not infect anyone else if they can afford the time off – but a cold, even a bad one is very different from the flu.
I promise.

1) If you get influenza, you can miss a week or more of work and pay.
2) If you get the flu or a cold, you can spread either to your family and loved ones. Older people, young children and people with chronic illness are especially vulnerable to getting seriously sick from the flu. They’re also more vulnerable to complications.
3) If you get the flu, you can spread it to people you work with. They might have kids, or other family members with weaker immune systems than your own. You are not just exposing your work-mates, but their families.

Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 days after becoming sick.

Flu vaccines are safe. There are two types of vaccine—the injectable vaccine (flu “shot”), or the nasal spray. Both of these have been studied closely, and serious side effects from these vaccines are very rare.

Why do people get flu-like symptoms after being vaccinated? Flu vaccines can NOT cause the flu. The viruses in flu vaccines are either killed or weakened. The vaccines work by ‘priming your body’s defenses in case you are exposed to an actual, similar and live flu virus.

There are several reasons why someone might get flu-like symptoms even after they have been vaccinated against the flu:
-A person might have already been exposed to the virus and be infected while not showing symptoms at the time of vaccination.
-A person might have been exposed to the common cold. There is no vaccination against the common cold. Even people with strong immunity against influenza can catch a cold. Cold viruses are not flu viruses.
-It takes two weeks for a vaccination to turn into immunity. Infection can still occur within those two weeks, across a wide spectrum of sickness.
-The three viruses against which a person is now immunized cannot infect that person, but a virus not included in the vaccination can. It could be a similar virus, and cause a similar experience, and would suck, but it wouldn't be what that person was immunized against.
-A person might have gotten food poisoning, which causes violent digestive system disruption (among other things)… which many people call “stomach flu” but is in no way related to respiratory infections like influenza.

Can the flu shot give you the Flu? No, the flu shot cannot cause flu illness.

Do flu vaccines really work? Yes. The ability of flu vaccine to protect a person depends on the age and health status of the person getting the vaccine, and the similarity or "match" between the virus strains in the vaccine and those in circulation.

Still not convinced?
Still no good? Too much government consipracy? Microchips you say? Untested experiments need human guinea pigs you say? Toxic levels of heavy metals and carcinogenic preservatives you say? Well then I'm sorry. I can't help you. Please wash your hands get lots of fresh air and vitamin D and if you feel even vaguely, faintly, barely sniffly or feverish PLEASE please please please stay home.

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