Flu shots

I’ve gotten flu shots for the last 3 years. Each winter, I’ve gotten sick with something which wasn’t the flu.
I don’t plan on getting one this season, even though, locally, there was a death of a young woman from it.
How likely is it to get the flu?
Someone on tv said the more people get the shots, the more the rest of us will stay healthy. That doesn’t make sense, getting the flu isn’t dependent on others getting a shot.

Over 50,000 people in the US die from the flu annually. Most of those are young children, the elderly and others with compromised immune systems. Many of these people cannot get the flu vaccine.

If the rest of us get the flu vaccine we reduce the spread of the flu, and reduce the chance of those vulnerable in our society of catching the flu.

You may be able to handle the flu fine, but you may also contribute to the spread of the flu to others.

You don’t get the flu vaccine for yourself, you get it to reduce it’s spread.

I think the thinking is that the more people who get the flu shot means that less people will get the flu, which means that less people you come in contact will give you the flu.

Your chances of being exposed to the flu is, however.

If you got sick with something other than the flu, then that really has no relevance to a discussion about the flu shot. If, for the last three years, you got a flu shot and still got the (actual, real) flu (as opposed to a stomach bug), then I could see your point. However, that’s not the case, unless you can prove that it was related.

The short answer is that getting the flu isn’t dependent on others getting a shot, NOT getting the flu, however, is. If none of the people you come into contact with have it, you’re not likely to get it.
The long answer is to look up ‘herd immunity’.
In the end, you got the flu shot and didn’t get the flu. Why mess with that.

They’re talking about herd immunity: if a sick person is surrounded by people who are immune to the disease, then it can’t propagated to fresh victims. Herd immunity only works when most folks get vaccinated. This is why we’ve been seeing major outbreaks of measles in recent years: someone carries measles in with elsewhere, wanders through a community where there are a whole lot of unvaccinated kids (because of vaccine hesitancy), and these unvaccinated kids all start giving it to each other (and to people for whom the vaccine didn’t work).

So the “someone on TV” you mentioned is absolutely correct: if you don’t get vaccinated against the flu, you’re less likely to get the flu if everyone around you is vaccinated (because you’re less likely to encounter someone else who has the flu). If you do get vaccinated, you’re even less likely to get the flu - and you’ll also be helping to keep everyone else healthy by strengthening herd immunity.

Thank you. I think I should get the shot now. I’ve read some anti-vax stuff and had questions.

Herd immunity can reduce disease prevalence. If polio breaks out, it may not spread too far since most people are vaccinated against it. So even the unvaccinated will get some protection (but not nearly as much as if they’d been vaccinated themselves) due to a lower R-0 number (the number of people each infected person goes on to infect) of the infection.

With the flu vaccine, the NNT (number needed to treat) is somewhere between 33 and 100 depending on how well the vaccine matches that seasons version of the flu (in some cases where the vaccine matches the flu virus well, the NNT can be as low as 12). A NNT in that range of 30-100 isn’t uncommon for preventative medicine.

So for every 33-100 people who get the flu shot, one would have gotten the flu w/o it but because they got the vaccine, they didn’t get it. So you vaccinate 10 million people, you prevent roughly 100,000 to 300,000 cases of flu each season.

I’m not sure what your odds are of getting the flu. I’m sure it varies wildly based on various factors like lifestyle and immune system. A health care worker is going to have a higher risk than a shut in for example. I know people at higher risk like the elderly, immunocompromised and health care workers are encouraged to get the vaccine more. I’ve had the flu, back in 2018 and it lasted me an entire month. I’ve been vaccinated each season since.

I got the vaccine at costco this year since its only $20 there.

Don’t read anti-vax stuff. With the exception of the very, very small percentage of people that have actual issues (ie allergies etc) to the vaccines, there’s no science behind it.

Everything about the Andrew Wakefield thing has been debunked to death. Right off the bat, his study was severely flawed. He had a sample size of twelve and, off the top of my head, half of them were showing symptoms of autisum before they got the vaccine.
Honestly, there wasn’t any reason for him to even to an actual study. He could have just made the entire thing up if he wanted. Maybe give the parents of a some autistic kids some cash to use their names as cites.

I’m with Joey P, as I think almost everyone here is. Please ignore any anti-vaxx stuff you read. It isn’t just the vaccines-cause-autism BS that they spout; there’s all kinds of nonsense they blend with pseudo-science and a whole lot of conspiracy theory crud. Absolutely none of it is true.

And as more and more of it gets more and more debunked it’s changed from a medical issue to a political issue. Now it’s about not wanting the government to be allowed to make their medical decisions. Unless it has to do with abortions, then the government should step in to make their medical decisions. Well, not their medical decisions, medical decisions for them.

As far as I’m concerned, if you want to spread the vaccines out or push them a little bit later (even if doing that isn’t medically justified), whatever, as long as you get them and you aren’t going to bring a preventable disease to a school or crowded area.

I think what a lot of people fail to take into consideration is that not getting your vaccines isn’t putting you at risk, it’s putting others at risk as well. Or, said another way ‘how come your kid can bring preventable diseases to school but my kid can’t bring a peanut butter sandwich?’.

That sounds like an awsome t-shirt!

I can’t take credit for it, it’s been floating around for a few years now.

And what really bugs me about that is that if you go to school or work sick, the rest of us don’t really have a chance of not coming in contact with germs. Peanut butter, OTOH, you can teach your allergic child to avoid it and it’s probably wise that they learn to keep their distance from it. No one wants their kid of have an allergic reaction, but they need to enter the real world with the understanding that no one is going out of their way to keep all the peanut based products away from them. That’s their job. It sucks and it’s not fair, but it’s life.

I am a teacher and get a flu shot every single year. So do my wife and kids.

It’s free(included) under almost all insurances, is it not?

I’m not sure you can completely trust a kid under 10, certainly not under 8, to know they need to avoid it and to always recognize when something contains peanuts. If they are sincerely deadly allergic, it seems premature to say “it’s not fair but that’s life” when they end up dead or in the emergency room.

By middle school or high school, sure, but the primary school kids are really, really dumb in some pretty important ways.

Fair enough. I was exaggerating a bit. And, I’m sure I’d have a very different outlook if it was my kid.
I probably should have left it alone. It does bring up an interesting point. If one wants to create rules and policies that will limit their kid’s exposure to peanuts, is it fair for them to push back at a rule that protects the rest of the school from their unvaccinated child?

I had the flu once and wish to never ever get it again. I would say it’s something I wouldn’t wish on anyone, except there actually are about three people I would wish it on.

But it’s horrible. Everything, including hair and fingernails, hurt. Fever, chills, and everything in between. If the hunkiest most gorgeous man had been across the room holding huge bags of money I would not have had the strength to crawl over there, nor would I have wanted to.

I always get the flu shot.

Bear with me; I’ve not studied flu vaccines or the disease. I did read where someone postulated that how can immunized people get the flu from those who Haven’t been given the shot?

Anyone trying to debunk flu shots by suggesting they don’t work because people get the flu shot and still get the flu don’t understand how the flu shot works and should to at least a little bit of research so they can discuss facts. As Bill Nye says, science doesn’t care what your opinion is.

In any case, there’s different strains of the flu, the vaccine you receive in any given year is the CDC’s best guess for the strain that will show up in your area. Sometimes they’re right, sometimes they’re wrong. Even when they’re wrong, if you do get the flu, it shouldn’t be as bad as it would be if you hadn’t been vaccinated.

I always get mine late Sept/early Oct and plan to. I got a “secondary strain” one year but both years I skipped the shot I got the flu and sick as Hades; nearly in the hospital once. So all ion all — left arm, please.