Did you get a flu shot this year? Did you get the flu?

After two week long bouts of being hospitalized with pneumonia, I am always getting a flu shot - I’m no longer going to take my lungs for granted. Only had one minor cold this winter, despite depending on public transit.

You would know. Sniffly ain’t the flu.

Got the flu vaccine, I think I has the flu now, but it’s milder than any other flu I’ve ever had. And that’s a good thing. I work in the financial markets so this is NOT the week to be taking sick days, regardless of how tired I am and how I shiver with the chills.

I have gotten the shot the last few years and did not get the flu this year. I’ve had the flu twice in the last 5 years though.

I dispute the premise. Unless Wikipedia is lying to me, I rarely if ever get a cold since my symptoms match the flu exactly, yet I am only out for a few days of work for cold/flulike symptoms once every year and a half or so. Which isn’t to say that a bad flu isn’t much worse than a minor flu. In fact, I wonder if the same virus that gives one person a mild fever and cough might send another to the hospital, and both would have been prevented with a shot.

It also probably affects people differently in terms of being “completely laid up”. In the worst flu I’ve had, my temperature almost hit 104 – at that point I went to CVS to get tylenol since I’m normally wary of it due to it’s effects on the liver. And the next day I could barely talk enough without coughing to explain to my supervisor why I wasn’t coming in to work. But I still could get up when I needed to. From my perspective, the “$100 bill flu” is a myth.

Got the shot. Got the real flu.

No and no (knock on wood).

Although to be fair, I’m at much less risk than the general population because I spend so little time around other people. I work from home (so no job to go to), don’t socialize much, don’t have kids to send to school to pick up diseases to bring home, and so on.

Yes got shot and no to getting flu despite pretty constant exposure.

The media hype on this annoys the heck out of me.

I refer all interested readers to the actual CDC weekly flu surveillance tracker.

There are indeed a huge number of outpatient visits for “influenza like illnesses” (ILI) defined as fever (temperature of 100°F [37.8°C] or greater) and cough and/or sore throat. 7.1% of all outpatient visits. We’s busy.

But given that huge number of ILIs the “mismatched” and “ineffective” vaccine has done a fantastic job at keeping mortality at no more than common flu season numbers. At least so far the peak is still below the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons’ peaks. It may surpass those years … or not.

And the pediatric deaths have been touted in a very scary manner as being up to 53 so far this season. Yes each one of those deaths are horrible things. And the context? The last three years numbers were between 93 and 148. We are on track for a pretty average year in this regard.

There are more people being seen for ILI and more people, especially more in the 50 - 64 year old group, getting hositalized … but so far not more dying. I do wonder if some of this reflects that more people are insured, and seeking healthcare.

As an asthmatic with two great-grandparents who died in the 1918-19 pandemic, I have gotten the flu shot every year for, oh, the past 20 years (except the year there were vaccine shortages and absolutely no way to ensure that available supplies were allocated to the people who actually needed them more).

Haven’t gotten the flu proper in that time, though have gotten more than my share of bronchitis and that sort of thing (2 rounds of it in the past 6 months. Thanks for the crappy lungs, Dad!) Oddly enough, for me those generally come without fever, or maybe a low fever. Just hacking my lungs up to the point of bronchiospasm, and sometimes also a head full of gunk.

That’s one thing the shot is supposed to do. First line of defense is to immunize you. Second line of defense is to reduce the symptoms if you do get it. Or so I’ve been told.

Interesting that by this totally (un)scientific survey, chances of getting the flu are almost identical (1 in 10) whether one got the shot or not.

I’ve never had a flu shot, and I’ve never had the flu.

I know, past performance is no guarantee of future results…but I’m not likely to get a flu shot next year, either.

I’ve never been in a serious auto accident.

Who needs seat belts or airbags?

I’ve been trying to get the flu shot for more than a month. The pharmacies are telling me that there is a shortage and they are only giving them out to people who are 65 or older. Called the doctor; they don’t have any.

I usually get the flu shot every year, but got a late start this year due to time constraints.

Anyhow, no flu shot and no flu.

I was lucky that I got it when I went to visit my doctor a month ago. A friend who works in public health had told me that they weren’t sure they predicted the right strain earlier, but either they had or I was lucky.

Got the flu shot (which I try to remember to do every year. I actually love doing it. It’s like 2 minutes of my time gives me this feeling of a force field around my body for the year, protecting me from feeling like utter crap).

Force field failed this year. Got the flu which peaked exactly on New Years of all days. Spent my first hours (and days) of 2018 under a stack of blankets, shivering with the chills, head exploding with fever, aches…

Still looking forward to next year’s flu shot though. I just keep hoping science gets better and better at it.

Got the shot (work requires it, but it’s free). Did not, so far, get the bug.

I can’t even remember last time I had the flu, must be more than a decade ago.

ETA: For those who don’t like needles, I literally did not feel anything when I got shot.

My two hospitalizations for pneumonia dealt a significant blow to my needle phobia, though I still don’t like them. The nurse who gave me my last flu shot was excellent, and kept me talking through the whole thing, so like you I didn’t even notice.

I think I’m pretty typical of needlephobes: I know with certainty that stubbing my toe is far more painful than getting a shot.

It’s not the pain that’s bothersome. It’s the autonomic nervous system reaction–the fainting, the vomiting, the writhing and moaning, the sweating–that’s bothersome.

For me, the worst medical emergency of my life is associated with a flu shot, when I went to a clinic to get the vaccine and was surrounded by people getting the shot, and even though I was getting FluMist my phobia kicked in and I fell over and concussed and got a ride in an ambulance. Nearly a decade later I still have intermittent vertigo that I think is linked to that incident.

So I read things like this:

I think, that sounds SO MUCH BETTER than getting a shot. And for me, I genuinely think getting shots exposes me to greater health risk than not getting shots in many cases, because I’m a freak about needles.

LHOD, you have an ethical obligation to deal with your needle fear and get immunized. It really is not just about you. Influenza spreads through school children and by way of those fountains of infection to higher risk individuals. Plus of course some kids are themselves at high risk for more serious complications including death. Your aiding and abetting its spread as a consequence of your fear is … best avoided.

I didn’t get the flu shot (hardly ever do) and did not get the flu. And I realize that it’ just pure luck that I didn’t get sick, so I don’t advise avoiding flu vaccines. I got my last flu vaccine in 2009 (swine flu). I got flu several times as a child so I might have at least some natural resistance to certain strains, but I realize I’m begging for trouble. The vaccine’s a good idea unless you’re prone to allergic reactions to the vax (a certain small % of the population)