Monday, January 14, 2013

the Shot

so... so far all of the kids at my daycare that have had to be sent home sick, or stayed home because they were sick, have had the flu shot. All of the kids we have had off sick have had their shots. So what is going on? some have had a bad gastro bug too on top of a fever and bad cold/influenza. Parents included - they have said things like 'man, Ive had to take 5 days off work since October but i got the flu shot too!'.

Then i see down in the US they have declared an epidemic from the flu, and I heard on the news that more than 20 children have died so far, let alone other ages.

I would like to know some stats - i would like to know how many of those who are sick and those who have died also had their flu shots for this season.

It makes me wonder a few things - how useful is the flu shot? How helpful is it? and - what strains of flu are causing these deaths? Were they included in the flu shot this year or did another one pop up that was not expected to be so strong?

From what i understand about the shot, the WHO signals what strains they feel will be worst, and choose 2 or 3 or 4 of them to include in the shot. I dont know how many they included this year or what strains because I havent looked it up yet. At any rate, the flu shot is supposed to help against those strains and then help with a lesser reaction to any similar flus. But people seem to get a false sense of security and think it protects against all flus. it does not.

I havent had a shot in over 10 years and have never taken time off work for flu like illness. My children have never had the shot and none of them have had to take off school for flu either - only a couple days each for stomach bugs (vomiting, etc). Actually one has only missed one day in 4 years. Anyway it drives me crazy that people are getting these shots and don't even know what they are for. I couldnt even count the number of people who get a stomach virus and call it 'the flu'. that is NOT the flu. the flu is a respiratory virus that lists vomiting and diahorrea (sp lol) as RARE in the symptoms list. but people throw up and say 'oh no, I have the flu'. Or they say 'i got the flu shot this year because last year i had it for a week and couldnt stop throwing up'. Hello people - you didnt have the flu when that happened! that was a gastro virus, stomach virus, tummy bug, whatever you want to call it. But they go out in hoards to get shot in the arm with stuff they don't even understand and expect to not get sick.

But still, I would like to know some real stats from those who are genuinely sick with the flu and received the shot. I want to know what kind of flu it was, especially those who succumbed. i think the health organizations should be carefully collecting data through whatever samples they need in order to determine the type of flu involved and tabulate whether the victims had their shot or not.

Its a guessing game with the flu shot. They pick the strains ahead of time that they think will be the most damaging and then tell everyone to get their shots. What if they were wrong this time? Up in Canada our flu map shows very little movement other than a couple of huge cities. Everywhere else is listed as sporadic activity or none reported. So what's going on right next door in the US where it is now classes an epidemic?


  1. The authorities should also indicated how many of the deaths were of people who were elderly or had compromised immune systems. The popular press has many folks in a panic to get a flu shot. I think this is irresponsible. I have never had a flu shot a cannot recall when I ever had the flu; periodic colds but that's all. The best protection is a good diet and that does not mean a big glass of orange juice in the morning, just has lots of sugar and minimal nutrition. A well researched supplement program would also be my advise. You might want to read the following link from Roger Mason who has some rather strong things to say about immunization.

    Sorry about the long URL; just copy and paste.

  2. Developing the flu vaccine is a bit of a crap shoot; there are thousands of variations of the virus, and if you guess wrong, the vaccine will not protect you against the "real" virus that is predominant this year.

    Evidently, this years vaccine is only @ 60% effective, which is better than nothing but little consolation to those who were not protected by the vaccine.

    As for the US, they have 10X the population and are much more mobile than Canadians. As well, since their weather is milder, the virus itself can linger in the environment. All these factors make it much easier for the flu to spread in the US, or large, crowded cities in Canada.

  3. Apparently as of the news in Canada yest, the flu has hit 'hard and fast' here too. That wars with what I have been watching on the 'flu maps' on a regular basis... they are listing more than double the cases lab-confirmed reported so far this season than the entire 2010-2011 season and many times more than the previous season which had a very low flu count.

    I found the reports a bit strange because it said the info was released by something like Public Health and Safety Canada, with very specific numbers, yet later in the articles i read, it said that same group does not keep track of how many people have received flu shots. Well, isnt that a lovely detail. Keep track of the numbers of flu cases, but not the number who received shots. Why not? I think that would be good information. if the majority of severe cases did NOT receive a shot, wouldnt they want to point that out in order to drive more people to getting it? I found that very strange.

    Also, yesterday morning my coworker, who just found out she is 5 weeks pregnant, was told by her doctor at her first appt with him for her pregnancy, that she really should get the flu shot and she agreed. So at this early stage of pregnancy, she took the flu shot with no questions asked. I found that to be a little iffy because its a prime growing stage for the fetus right now, tests were not done on pregnant women for any of these flu shots (according to Health Canada website year after year), and here she gets one because doc said it's best. How does he know for sure? Hopefully everything will be alright but who knows.

  4. Anonymous - I have been doing vit D3 for the past few years after reading up on it. i take 1000mg a day through the whole winter season and double up every other day usually, so 2000mg every other day. And if I start to feel like I am fighting a cold or something, I take more (4000mg a day usually). I have read about people taking much more than that but i chose this regimen and dont have any complaints. no funky blood work at my appts, and I have not taken time off work. I give it to my older two children as well and have a soft chewable one for my youngest. So far my kids have not missed any school at all for flus, and even the stomach flus have not hit them for more than half a day, once each for the older ones. Fingers and toes crossed. i dont know if we are just lucky, if the vit D is helping, or if it's also their diet. We do not eat fast food very often at all, and we eat a full proper meal each day for supper. no KD and hot dogs for us (except once in a blue moon when my husband craves it lol). So im not going to change any of the things we are doing.

    I do get other shots for my kids, my youngest received the chicken pox vacccine and other regular ones like MMR so I am not an anti-shot person all around, I just dont like this yearly flu shot thing. My city has a Flulapalooza thing each year with bouncy castles and free teddy bears for kids.... and it has now been reported in the news here that 2 people have died and it's been related to the flu shot. it was front page news last week but I havent heard anything about it since. Then the very next week my coworker goes and gets the shot when she is only 5 weeks pregnant. ohhhkay.

  5. i read today that only six of the possible 250 strains of the flu virus are used to make the flu shot. lots of room for error there.



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