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Old 10-18-2019, 08:35 AM
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I am questioning getting a flu shot next year.


I have never had the flu. Up until about 33, I had also never had a flu shot.

Around that time I thought maybe I should get one.

In the last four flu shots:

-One year no problem
-One year medium arm pain
- Two years (including today) I have had aches, chills, fever, diarrhea.

Considering I went 33 years without the shot and never got the flu, I am thinking a 50% chance of feeling like s**t the day after is not really compelling to keep getting them.
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Old 10-18-2019, 08:39 AM
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The flu shot is not only to protect you from the flu, but to protect other vulnerable individuals (too young, sick, depressed immune systems) from getting what could be a deadly disease.

Get the shot.
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Old 10-18-2019, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
The flu shot is not only to protect you from the flu, but to protect other vulnerable individuals (too young, sick, depressed immune systems) from getting what could be a deadly disease.

Get the shot.
I generally agree. My sister died from the flu several years ago when the nasty H1N1 strain was going around. That said, I would personally exempt anyone who regularly has a nasty reaction to the shot.
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Old 10-18-2019, 08:53 AM
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The flu shot is not only to protect you from the flu, but to protect other vulnerable individuals (too young, sick, depressed immune systems) from getting what could be a deadly disease.

Get the shot.
I acknowledge there is a little bit of that, but doesn't that presume you will get the flu? Which, as far as I can tell, seems to be pretty rare. And I will stay home.
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Old 10-18-2019, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Hermitian View Post
I acknowledge there is a little bit of that, but doesn't that presume you will get the flu? Which, as far as I can tell, seems to be pretty rare. And I will stay home.
Influenza can be asymptomatic. In fact, depending on where you're getting your data from, anywhere from 1/3 to over 3/4 of all influenza infections are very mild to asymptomatic.

Get the shot.

Last edited by DCnDC; 10-18-2019 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 10-18-2019, 09:48 AM
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Influenza can be asymptomatic. In fact, depending on where you're getting your data from, anywhere from 1/3 to over 3/4 of all influenza infections are very mild to asymptomatic.

Get the shot.
That is not what I am seeing here:

"We performed a systematic review of published studies describing the relationship between viral shedding and disease transmission. Based on the available literature, we found that there is scant, if any, evidence that asymptomatic or presymptomatic individuals play an important role in influenza transmission. As such, recent articles concerning pandemic planning, some using transmission modeling, may have overestimated the effect of presymptomatic or asymptomatic influenza transmission."
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Old 10-18-2019, 09:51 AM
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I acknowledge there is a little bit of that, but doesn't that presume you will get the flu? Which, as far as I can tell, seems to be pretty rare. And I will stay home.
How do you intend to stay home during the period when you're sick and spreading the virus, but before you show symptoms or realize you have it?

Get the shot.

Last edited by Joey P; 10-18-2019 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 10-18-2019, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Hermitian View Post
I have never had the flu. Up until about 33, I had also never had a flu shot.

Around that time I thought maybe I should get one.

In the last four flu shots:

-One year no problem
-One year medium arm pain
- Two years (including today) I have had aches, chills, fever, diarrhea.

Considering I went 33 years without the shot and never got the flu, I am thinking a 50% chance of feeling like s**t the day after is not really compelling to keep getting them.
influenza is a respiratory illness. I don't believe diarrhea is one of its usual symptoms. you've probably contracted something else coincidentally. A heck of a lot of viral infections all start out with "aches, chills, and fever."

edited to add: and I was one of those guys who thought "I never get the flu" until my dr. probed a little bit. I said a few times over the past number of years I had a "cold" where I ran a high fever. he asked how high, I said "104 until I took a tylenol." He said "no, that was probably the flu."

Last edited by jz78817; 10-18-2019 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 10-18-2019, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Hermitian View Post
I have never had the flu. Up until about 33, I had also never had a flu shot.

Around that time I thought maybe I should get one.

In the last four flu shots:

-One year no problem
-One year medium arm pain
- Two years (including today) I have had aches, chills, fever, diarrhea.

Considering I went 33 years without the shot and never got the flu, I am thinking a 50% chance of feeling like s**t the day after is not really compelling to keep getting them.
I felt similarly in my early 40s, i.e. the last time I remembered having been sick enough to call it the flu, I was maybe 10 or 11 years old. Other than that, I was generally quite healthy; I got a cold once in a great while, but seemed to have a less-than-average propensity for getting sick. So I never got a flu shot.

And then in my early 40s I got what I'm pretty sure was the flu. In contrast to your post-vaccination day of aches/chills/fever/diarrhea, this was a couple of weeks of abject misery, including fever as high as 104F, waking up in the middle of the night with a genuine feeling that I might die soon, and eventually a coughing fit so bad that I threw up violently enough to tear my esophagus (the ER folks suspected pertussis, but I tested negative).

I've wised up. I get my flu shot every year now - mostly to minimize my risk of becoming miserably ill like that ever again, but also partly out of a sense of social responsibility to minimize my risk of becoming part of a transmission network for a contagion that kills thousands of people in the US every year. It's a logistical hassle, and I hate injections, and my arm is sore for a day or two afterwards, but it beats the alternative.
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Old 10-18-2019, 10:05 AM
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I'd skip it, maybe the illness is unrelated, or maybe you don't tolerate something in the shot.

My experience is the opposite. I got flu all the time as a kid -- every winter, twice one year. When I was about 35 I got a flu shot for the first time. I "treated it" with a cold pack, and got a very sore patch of arm. A month later, everyone in my family got the flu. My husband was sick, my parents were sick, my sister and her husband were so sick they couldn't even walk the dog (I went over and did it for them) and I was fine. So I decided the flu shot was a good idea.

The next year I didn't do the cold-pack thing, and I just had a slightly sore spot for a day and no other symptoms. Same since then. And I haven't had the flu since I started getting flu shots.

I'm a big fan of immunizations, but various people react badly to this or that shot for whatever reason, and I don't think you have an obligation to make yourself ill for the sake of herd immunity against an ordinary seasonal flu. (And we already have indications from the far east that this year is a somewhat ordinary flu year. A little early, but normal severity.)
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Old 10-18-2019, 10:17 AM
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Thanks everyone for their input.

As I read this over again, I guess I just should have left "skipping it in the future" part out. I know immunizations are like a third rail around here along with declawing your pets, and I don't want to start a holy war. I mostly just wanted to complain.

I've been doing more research and found out that many also have eggs in them. I am very mildy allergic to uncooked eggs, but I don't know how that stacks up against the shot. Maybe I will see if they have the non-egg version available next year.

Last edited by Hermitian; 10-18-2019 at 10:17 AM.
  #12  
Old 10-18-2019, 10:23 AM
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I know immunizations are like a third rail around here
Yeah, it's all part of that "fighting ignorance" thing.
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Old 10-18-2019, 10:27 AM
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I had what the Dr. called the flu last month. He said there had been several people in with it and one could get the flu at any time during the year. It was bad. I will still get the shot real soon.
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Old 10-18-2019, 10:39 AM
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I've gotten the flu shot regularly for the past 25 years, and never had the flu. Get the shot. If you're allergic to any of the ingredients in the vaccine, see your doctor and get their advice. There may be an alternate vaccine available.
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Old 10-18-2019, 10:42 AM
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I've been doing more research and found out that many also have eggs in them. I am very mildy allergic to uncooked eggs, but I don't know how that stacks up against the shot. Maybe I will see if they have the non-egg version available next year.
I believe there are egg-free versions for exactly this reason.
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Old 10-18-2019, 12:44 PM
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https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/egg-allergies.htm

The high points are:
* Most people with egg allergies can get a flu shot anyway
* If you've had a serious reaction to eggs previously, (more than just hives) you should get the shot in a facility that can manage an emergency allergic reaction
* A previous severe allergic reaction to flu vaccine, regardless of the component suspected of being responsible for the reaction, is a contraindication to future receipt of the vaccine.

So, I dunno if your reaction was an allergy. You might want to discuss it with your doctor. But you might be one of those people who aren't supposed to get the flu shot going forward.
  #17  
Old 10-18-2019, 12:45 PM
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Considering I went 33 years without the shot and never got the flu, I am thinking a 50% chance of feeling like s**t the day after is not really compelling to keep getting them.
Last year I forgot to get mine. Guess what - I got the flu and felt like absolute shit for 5 days.

Thanks for the reminder!
  #18  
Old 10-18-2019, 01:33 PM
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I acknowledge there is a little bit of that, but doesn't that presume you will get the flu? Which, as far as I can tell, seems to be pretty rare.
Influenza is more than "pretty rare".

"...on average, about 8% of the U.S. population gets sick from flu each season, with a range of between 3% and 11%, depending on the season."

http://cdc.gov/flu/about/keyfacts.htm

I wouldn't blame the OP for thinking of skipping a flu shot over apparent reactions to it, unless he's likely to come into contact with especially vulnerable individuals either casually or through his job. Feeling somewhat crappy for a day or so does have to be balanced against the real possibility of being deathly ill with influenza for up to a week or more, and the slim chance of being one of those unfortunates who develops "cytokine storm"*, in which the immune system revs up to such an extent that it becomes life-threatening.

*this has been documented in recent years in otherwise healthy younger individuals.

Last edited by Jackmannii; 10-18-2019 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 10-18-2019, 01:45 PM
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I take all the flu shots. And I encourage my close kin to get them. I'm one bad infection or odd circumstance from death at any time. I'm one of the vulnerable ones. Do not want to take that chance.
Get the shot, please.
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Old 10-18-2019, 02:29 PM
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I usually feel pretty crummy for a day or two when I get my shot, which I've gotten every year for the past 20 years.

I feel crummy. For one day. So what? I avoided getting the flu (which I hear is MISERY for DAYS) and I avoided passing on the flu to anyone else. The rewards highly outweigh the risks for me.

FWIW I didn't feel crummy this year after the shot, for the first time in a long time.
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Old 10-18-2019, 03:43 PM
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I usually feel a little shivery and sniffley after I get the flu shot. But I didn't get it this year.

I always get the shot. I was flat on my back for two weeks the one time I've had the flu. I am not trying to have that happen again.

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Old 10-18-2019, 04:01 PM
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I'm not sure I would get the shot if I started having a bad reaction. But since I hardly react at all I will continue to get them. I did get flu one year but it was over in 48 hours. If I hadn't got the shot I assume it would have taken much longer. Interestingly, my doctor reported the same experience that year.
  #23  
Old 10-18-2019, 04:40 PM
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I had the flu once when I was 5 years old. Haven't had it since. I only do shots when necessary, 'cause I faint dead away as I feel it going through my veins. By the way, I will be 67 next month.
  #24  
Old 10-18-2019, 04:41 PM
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Yeah, it's all part of that "fighting ignorance" thing.
I am fifty, and I've had the flu three times in my life.

The last time was at 40 and in my first trimester of pregnancy and a week before my doctor's office got the vaccine.

I really wanted to die.

I got so lucky, though. I didn't die. The baby was okay.

And the vaccine doesn't just protect you. It protects pregnant mothers, and newborns, and grannies, and uncles on the heart transplant list. I'm sorry for your achy arm, but it's not useless.
  #25  
Old 10-18-2019, 04:50 PM
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Last year in the US, there were twice as many deaths from the flu, as there were gun deaths.


The level of attention given to stopping gun deaths eclipses the level of attention on preventing flu deaths. The most effective way of preventing flu death is through herd immunization, but so many people complain about the soreness in their arms, or feeling under the weather after they get the shot.
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Old 10-18-2019, 05:59 PM
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I had the flu twice. Once when I was in my 20s, and I missed a week of work. I didn't feel totally normally again for two months. For me that is extremely unusual. Thought I was gonna die. Then I got it again when it was going around my office. We called it the [matter redacted] flu because everyone on the team was working long hours and everyone on the team got it. Again, I was out for a week, and didn't feel back to normal for a couple of months.

So yeah, I get the shot. One day of feeling bad versus one week of feeling like I'm gonna die followed by two months of feeling like crap? No contest.

Not to mention I had a friend who got the flu and felt like she was gonna die, and then she did.

There are people who have a bad cold and think it's the flu. That is not what I'm talking about.

ETA: I'm basically healthy, hardly ever go to the doctor, and do not get the "annual physical" or even a five-year physical. But I get the flu shot.

Last edited by Hilarity N. Suze; 10-18-2019 at 06:02 PM.
  #27  
Old 10-18-2019, 06:43 PM
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I had the flu once when I was 5 years old. Haven't had it since. I only do shots when necessary, 'cause I faint dead away as I feel it going through my veins. By the way, I will be 67 next month.
?

the flu vaccine is an intramuscular shot.
  #28  
Old 10-18-2019, 07:05 PM
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Ive had influenza at least 5 times. As an asthmatic, Im more likely to get and more likely to have a more severe case. After an auto-immune reaction 20 years ago, although unrelated to a vaccine, my neurologist advised me to not got the shot. A few years later my GP and I had a discussion and decided the odds of another autoimmune reaction was far outweighed by the risk of getting the flu and I have gotten the shot every year since with good results.
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Old 10-18-2019, 07:07 PM
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Oh hell yes, if your reaction to the shot is a sore am and feeling a little crummy for a day, get the shot. I've had lots of flus. The typical flu is 5 days of high fever, muscle aches, and respiratory problems, followed by feeling weak and unwell for a while longer. It's miserable. And of course, it can kill you.

The op reported a worse reaction than that. I think they should talk to their doctor. Unless they have close contact with especially vulnerable people, they may be a candidate to not get the shot. The rest of us can keep up the herd immunity, and protect Hermitian.
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Old 10-18-2019, 07:11 PM
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I do have a question, which I have had for years for this particular vaccine (and it is not without aforementioned in other posts family/personal reasons I don't care to re-go-into). As I understand this vaccine, it has to be made for the particular flu virus that is expected to hit in a particular year. Therefore it is new every year.

BUT

Doesn't it usually take 'years' to get government approval for a vaccine? Using clinical studies and long term followups.

Something does not compute here.

And begs the question that if it is new every year, without long term data, what happens if and when they make a major screw up?
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Old 10-18-2019, 08:10 PM
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The misery from the shot won't kill you.

Influenza can kill you.

Get the shot.
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Old 10-18-2019, 08:14 PM
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If you've ever had, or taken care of anyone who had, genuine influenza, you'd be first in line for a flu shot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Machine Elf
And then in my early 40s I got what I'm pretty sure was the flu. In contrast to your post-vaccination day of aches/chills/fever/diarrhea, this was a couple of weeks of abject misery, including fever as high as 104F, waking up in the middle of the night with a genuine feeling that I might die soon, and eventually a coughing fit so bad that I threw up violently enough to tear my esophagus (the ER folks suspected pertussis, but I tested negative).
Pretty much the same with me, except that I ended up with pneumonia.
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Old Yesterday, 06:45 AM
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There is a reason virtually everyone who works in healthcare is required to get a flu shot.

Be a citizen.

GTS.
  #34  
Old Yesterday, 07:16 AM
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I do have a question, which I have had for years for this particular vaccine (and it is not without aforementioned in other posts family/personal reasons I don't care to re-go-into). As I understand this vaccine, it has to be made for the particular flu virus that is expected to hit in a particular year. Therefore it is new every year.

BUT

Doesn't it usually take 'years' to get government approval for a vaccine? Using clinical studies and long term followups.

Something does not compute here.

And begs the question that if it is new every year, without long term data, what happens if and when they make a major screw up?
This is a vaccine for a strain of a disease that they have created vaccines for many times before, not a first time vaccine for tsutsugamushi fever.

And there have been issues. In 1976, for example, there were people who ended up.with Guillain-Barre syndrome after getting their swine flu shots.
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Old Yesterday, 07:24 AM
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As I understand this vaccine, it has to be made for the particular flu virus that is expected to hit in a particular year. Therefore it is new every year.

BUT

Doesn't it usually take 'years' to get government approval for a vaccine? Using clinical studies and long term followups.

Something does not compute here.
AIUI, the basic flu vaccine is already FDA-approved; what happens annually is incorporating new flu virus strains into the approved vaccines, which is a faster process. But the FDA is still working year-round on flu vaccine updates.
Quote:
In late February/early March well before the new flu season begins an FDA advisory committee reviews data about which flu viruses have caused disease in the past year, how the viruses are changing, and disease trends so they can recommend the three or four flu strains to include in the trivalent and quadrivalent influenza vaccines for the U.S in the upcoming flu season.

Once the strains are selected, vaccine manufacturers begin the manufacturing process to include the newly selected flu strains in their FDA-approved vaccines. The different flu virus strains are combined to formulate the vaccine into standard dosages. The vaccine is then filled into vials, syringes and, for the nasal vaccine, sprayers. Both egg-based and non-egg-based manufacturing methods for FDA-approved flu vaccines require high-tech processes and manufacturing facilities that have been inspected by the FDA. Vaccine manufacturers must submit applications to the FDA to include the new flu strains in their FDA-approved vaccines.

In its own laboratories, the FDA also produces materials that are critical for making the vaccine. These include generating candidate vaccine virus strains suitable for further vaccine manufacture and producing the critical potency reagents, which are materials needed to test the vaccines for potency and identity (to ensure standardization) before the FDA approves the new formulation of the approved seasonal influenza vaccines for U.S. distribution.

The FDA is also responsible for ensuring that released lots of influenza vaccines meet appropriate standards. Each vaccine undergoes quality control tests, including testing for sterility. Manufacturers submit the results of their testing, along with sample vials from each lot to the FDA for lot release. The FDA typically begins releasing lots of flu vaccines in late summer.
  #36  
Old Yesterday, 01:34 PM
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AIUI, the basic flu vaccine is already FDA-approved; what happens annually is incorporating new flu virus strains into the approved vaccines, which is a faster process. But the FDA is still working year-round on flu vaccine updates.
Thank you. That's a good explanation of how it is fast tracked. Basically a good base, then the additional strains are added with testing. Which is how I took it worked and adds a degree of safety, however it doesn't appear to meet the same level of review as far as the new strain additions, though they are doing what they can for the timeframe they have. Now if that is a cause for concern, well I do have that question.
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Old Today, 12:29 AM
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I had the flu really bad a few times as a kid and when it's a severe case, oh.my.god is it awful.

Fevers got to 104+ (hot enough where I stopped feeling freezing and instead felt like I was inside an oven), horrible aches that made me not want to move and exhaustion so all encompassing that when I made the 10-15' trip from the couch to the bathroom, I'd have to stop twice to lean against the wall to rest a bit.

I most vividly remember the aches being so bad that it would hurt if I lightly brushed my arm hairs (no skin contact at all).
  #38  
Old Today, 11:09 AM
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I had a bit of an unpleasant reaction to the shot once. I was ready to hop back in my car, but they made me wait a few minutes, which might've saved my life because all of a sudden I got hit with vertigo. For a minute there I had to lie down and hold on to the chair. Then it passed, and I was fine. Never happened before or since. I'd encourage you to get the shot, and hope in a few years these incidents you describe will be similar strange things that happened to you once or twice but never again. The human body is mysterious.

But do talk to your doctor about it. For a couple years after my incident, I made sure the folks giving me the shot knew about it, and they laid me down to start and kept a close eye on me until I was comfortable that I was in the clear. They can probably do something to help you out, too, whether that's giving you the egg-free shot, the flu mist (not a shot), some other medicine to counter any effects, or just some more informed reassurance.
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Old Today, 11:15 AM
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I just got my flu shot a couple days ago and had literally the worst reaction I've ever had--my arm ached and I felt a little dragged out so I spent yesterday on the couch watching tv. I've had flu before, and I've had a pulmonary embolism and that's why I get flu shots and have had my pneumonia vaccine. Because I live alone and if I'm that sick who's gonna feed the critters and let them in and out fifty times a day? Huh? Flu is horrible, if I never get it again I'll be supremely grateful.
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