Flu and You: Too late for flu shot?
February 18th, 2011
05:25 PM ET

Flu and You: Too late for flu shot?

As winter begins to thaw, you might think that you no longer have to worry about colds and flu.

But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that flu season peaks in January or February, and can last late into May. And the agency has issued a public service announcement to remind us that  it's not too late to vaccinate.

The level of flu during the week of between February 6 through 12 “remained elevated,” reported the CDC.

Five flu-related children’s deaths were reported that week.  During this flu season, which started in October, there have been 35 confirmed pediatric deaths.

As of last week, 20 states have high flu-like illness activities – most of them are Southern and Southeastern states such as South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.  (See map above for more details about where flu activities are most intense.)

soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. Sarah

    Wonder how there are still high flu rates if many people are getting vaccinated?

    February 18, 2011 at 20:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • The_Mick

      Sarah, most people don't get vaccinated!

      I had the flu each of the first two years I taught school, where you often have kids stick their noses 6 inches from your face and say, "I feel sick." Every year after that and now in retirement I get the flu shot, and extra shot like the H1N1 last year, and the pneumonia vaccination (every 5 years). I haven't had the flu since then.

      Teachers who get the flu shots in my county in Central Maryland retire will more unused sick days than those who don't.

      So do they work? Looks like they do to me.

      February 19, 2011 at 07:59 | Report abuse |
    • Good Patient

      Because of the kind of misinformation and outright lies people promulgate here and elsewhere, people don't get vaccinated. Look at the nonsense you see "Sheepless" and Ruby posting. They aren't doctors; they aren't researchers. They aren't able to grasp the science behind vaccines, and can't distinguish between medical facts and the propaganda spread by charlatans.

      February 19, 2011 at 11:41 | Report abuse |
    • kmcg

      A. Lots don't get vaccinated

      B. The flu virus mutates a lot, so sometimes you can get a strain you weren't vaccinated for and still get sick.

      February 19, 2011 at 14:50 | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Actually, each year a different number get vaccinated, a different number get the flu and a different number die. According the CDC during 1986 -87 – 3,349 died yet during 2003 -04 – 48,614 died. The big fear is that a flu strain mutates causing millions to die like what happened during 1918.

      However, you can vaccinated and still get the flu, depending on your health or get another strain. The main issue is only about one out three or four people get vaccinated.

      February 20, 2011 at 08:21 | Report abuse |
    • Alexis

      The information about the flu is really interesting, my family has gotten it and its really tough to deal with. I learned a lot of information about it from a great website, YourCity.MD (no .com, it just ends in .md) You can type in your city or zip code on the site and then search in the one click help center. Not only does it give you great doctor approved articles about the flu - symptoms, treatment, etc - it also gives you a great list of doctors in your own area that provide treatment for the flu. No other website does this!
      Its really helpful when youre out of town and you need a doctor in the area, plus you can download the iPhone app.

      February 20, 2011 at 16:09 | Report abuse |
    • daina

      They don't all get vaccinated or vaccinated early enough although I must say as a healthcare professional I do not agree with the CDCs' micromanagement re 'forcing' healthcare providers to vaccinate; all vaccines have side effects and it should be the patients' choice. In hospital patients are automatically vaccinated unless they absolutely refuse....there is a balance between forcing vaccines. Thank you to the moronic 'vaccines cause Autism' idiots for creating this mess.

      February 20, 2011 at 18:35 | Report abuse |
    • Jared

      First I think the flu is natural selection at it's finest. Thinning out the herd is crutial to the preservation of a species. Overpopulation and advances in medical science are putting an incresing strain on Earth's resources. That said, if you want to avoid the flu try washing your hands, the CDC says it is the most important thing one can do to avoid it. Google "monolaurin" it is a naturally occuring compound found in milk they have PROVEN is effective at killing flu. They have found a way to extract it and concentrate it from coconut milk.

      "Monolaurin destroys lipid-coated viruses by binding to the lipid-protein envelope of the virus, thereby preventing it from attaching and entering host cells, making infection and replication impossible. Other studies show that Monolaurin disintegrates the viral envelope, killing the virus (3).

      In studies performed at the Respiratory Virology Branch, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia, Monolaurin was found effective against 14 human RNA and DNA enveloped viruses in cell culture (3). These included influenza, RSV, Rubeola, Newcastle's, Coronavirus, Herpes Simplex types 1 & 2, Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) and cytomegalovirus. (Monolaurin has no effect on naked viruses, such as polio, encephalitis virus, coxsachie, or pox viruses.). Monolaurin removed all measurable infectivity by disintegrating the virus envelope."

      Also raw garlic kills the flu, chop it finely and eat it raw twice a week during flu season and you will be good.

      February 21, 2011 at 08:20 | Report abuse |
    • Jabberwocky

      Yeah, right, Jared. "Eye of newt and toe of frog" should help, too.

      February 21, 2011 at 09:12 | Report abuse |
    • Jared

      @Jabberwocky, can't say about eye of newt or toe of frog, but as my post stated the CDC has done actual studies on monolaurin and it works. Talk about others being an idiot all the while spewing venom at anybody that disagrees with you, what a tool you are.

      February 21, 2011 at 10:07 | Report abuse |
    • Jabberwocky

      Uh huh. Garlic chopped up fine prevents flu. Yer nutz.

      February 21, 2011 at 17:32 | Report abuse |
    • Good Patient

      I'll be sure to take Jared's advice on medicine as soon as he figures out that "it's" is a contraction for 'it is". I believe that was covered in 4th grade.

      February 21, 2011 at 18:45 | Report abuse |
  2. Darrell

    Sarah, they don't work come on. Every year it's the same number of people that supposedly die from the flu. 36,000. It's been that number for over 25 years. What they don't tell you is around 500 people actually die from the flu and are listed as such on the CDC website but over 30,000 die from Pneumonia which they lump together with the flu deaths. Hmmmm why don't they just push the Pneumonia vaccine then? Because it doesn't work either and if they did the same number would still die and their lie would be revealed.

    February 18, 2011 at 20:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • The_Mick

      I agree that the vast number of deaths are NOT from the flu – which I why I make sure my pneumonia shot is current. But the flu shots do work 70% of the time (they have to guess which 3 flu strains will be most prevalent months ahead of time), saving a lot of people from missing time at work. That's especially true of people who are constantly in contact with lots of people during the day.

      February 19, 2011 at 08:04 | Report abuse |
    • Good Patient

      Wrong Darrel. Here: How do the new estimates compare with the 36,000 figure that is often cited as an estimate of annual flu-associated deaths?
      The 36,000 estimate was presented in a 2003 study by CDC scientists published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), using similar statistical modeling techniques, but only refers to a period from 1990-91 through 1998-99.

      February 19, 2011 at 12:03 | Report abuse |
    • nellage

      why don't you go to school first and learn some biology, so you will actually know what a vaccine and a virus is.

      February 19, 2011 at 19:03 | Report abuse |
  3. Ruby

    Right, Darrell. Instead of pushing the worthless, mercury-containing flu shot or the live virus one which can SHED the virus and spread the flu, why not ask those who have made it through the winter what their secret was? How ever did they manage to avoid the flu without the sacred shot?

    And unless you have some underlying health condition (which by the way, makes you more vulnerable to side effects from the vaccine), the flu is unpleasant but treatable. Stay in bed, drink clear fluids, take your vitamins and you should be just fine–and naturally immune from that strain.

    February 18, 2011 at 21:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jabberwocky

      And what about the people who can't take the flu shot due to allergies or chronic illness? What about infants too young to be vaccinated? What happens when you infect them because you have the flu?

      February 19, 2011 at 10:49 | Report abuse |
  4. notation

    Jesus, Ruby and your other brother, Darrell, were you born stupid or do you practice?

    I guess the fact that 35 children have died of the flu because of morons like you is just not important.

    February 18, 2011 at 21:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ruby

      That's pretty odd you would blame me and Darrell for the deaths of children we've never met. Talk about moronic.

      Anyway, since you're so smart, what was the state of health of each of these children? Did they have any underlying health problems? Did they get the Hep B vaccine at birth, one of the most damaging vaccines out there, which could have compromised their immune systems? Were they recently vaccinated with other vaccines? How old were these children? What was their diet? Were they breastfed or formula fed babies? Were they treated with any anti-viral or other medications?

      And did they get flu shots? Perhaps you ought to do your research rather than shoot off at the mouth something which you clearly know nothing about.

      February 18, 2011 at 23:01 | Report abuse |
    • Good Patient

      You're the one who's a nut-job, Ruby. The children died of the flu. Whether THEY were vaccinated or not isn't the question: it's quite possible they were too young to BE vaccinated. But they nevertheless came in contact with someone else who could easily have been vaccinated and wasn't. Someone like you who thinks the flu is no big deal because it isn't a big deal for YOU. You're ignorant of the fact that you can infect someone else before you even have symptoms. The vaccine isn't meant to protect just you-it's meant to protect people FROM you. Too bad you don't care about that.

      February 19, 2011 at 09:51 | Report abuse |
  5. Heather

    My aunt just died of the flu last week. But they didn't list that as the cause of death – simply cardiopulmonary arrest – generic for "she died."

    February 18, 2011 at 21:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • notation

      I'm sorry for your loss, Heather.

      February 18, 2011 at 21:33 | Report abuse |
  6. Dee

    My son and I have been getting the flu shot for the last 12 years. My husband doesn't want to get one because he talks about the silly side effects like Ruby is talking about. Anyway my husband got a terrible case of the flu this year and almost had pneumonia. He was off work for two weeks. My son and I didn't even get a sniffle. So to all you flu shot haters and fear mongers out there, enjoy your yearly flu. I sure won't.

    February 18, 2011 at 21:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • notation

      Thanks for injecting a note of sanity here. Dimwits abound, as usual. Glad you are okay and that your husband has recovered and has a better appreciation for the benefits of the flu vaccine.

      February 18, 2011 at 21:50 | Report abuse |
    • Ruby

      Silly side effects? Yearly flu? Well, I can see the mercury in your flu shots is getting to you. I've gotten the flu once as an adult (I'm 57), and of my four children only one got it. How ever did we survive? Fact is, most people do. Unhealthy people may die from complications of the flu, but that doesn't make vaccines work.

      You're the fear monger, not I. You're so scared of the flu that you allow injections of toxic materials into you and your son every year. But that's your choice. If you want to believe that toxins are necessary for good health, go for it.

      February 18, 2011 at 23:06 | Report abuse |
    • Good Patient

      What a doofus. Flu vaccine without any thimerosal is readily available, Rubykins. As you'd know if you weren't an idiot. In addition, you and your spawn probably infected others when you were sick, many of whom missed weeks of work or worse. You aren't the only person in the universe, dear.

      By the way, simple simon, do you eat fish? Get back to me when you can tell me the concentration of mercury in a flu vaccine compared to that in a serving of tuna.

      The one who knows nothing about what she's braying is you.

      February 19, 2011 at 09:54 | Report abuse |
    • notation

      Where in the world do you get your "facts", Ruby? Go ahead and cite your sources.

      February 19, 2011 at 09:56 | Report abuse |
    • Sheepless

      Good patient: do you inject fish into your body??? I suspect not, but you do take the flu shot, so I'd have to wonder. Your argument for mercury in fish versus mercury in flu shots holds NO WATER. Also, why don't you do some research on vaccines before you go ripping someone apart who HAS done theirs. You're accusing people of being dim-witted when you are nothing but a sheep who is a 'good patient!' Hahahahaha! Keep up the shots. They're working, fool.

      February 19, 2011 at 11:22 | Report abuse |
    • Good Patient

      Why don't you explain just exactly how mercury ingested is different from mercury injected, dear? Can you? While you're at it, do cite your proof that thimerosal used as a preservative has been harmful-more harmful than the diseases the vaccines prevent. And when you've finished with that, darling, go ahead and tell everyone that the concentration of mercury in vaccines is anything near a harmful concentration. And then you can tell us all where you think it's impossible to get a vaccine that doesn't contain any thimerosal at all. Moron.

      February 19, 2011 at 11:37 | Report abuse |
    • Good Patient

      People like Sheepless and Ruby seem reluctant to discuss thimerosal. They don't likely know the difference between methyl mercury and ethyl mercury. They should read about it.

      Here's some interesting reading for them: One final piece of data regarding thimerosal is worth noting. At the initial National Vaccine Advisory Committee-sponsored meeting on thimerosal in 1999, concerns were expressed that infants may lack the ability to eliminate mercury. More recent NIAID-supported studies at the University of Rochester and National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD examined levels of mercury in blood and other samples from infants who had received routine immunizations with thimerosal-containing vaccines. [Pichichero ME, et al. Lancet 360:1737-1741 (2002)] Blood levels of mercury did not exceed safety guidelines for methyl mercury for all infants in these studies. Further, mercury was cleared from the blood in infants exposed to thimerosal faster than would be predicted for methyl mercury; infants excreted significant amounts of mercury in stool after thimerosal exposure, thus removing mercury from their bodies. These results suggest that there are differences in the way that thimerosal and methyl mercury are distributed, metabolized, and excreted. Thimerosal appears to be removed from the blood and body more rapidly than methyl mercury

      February 19, 2011 at 11:56 | Report abuse |
    • J-Mo

      Flu shots do prevent the flu, we all know this. It is the other known effects that they have on our body longer term. Vaccines and shots will never have anything on the oil in the Bible or other herbs that the Bible does mention that can prevent and stomp the flu to nothing. But our health system avoids that kind of stuff because that kind of stuff is unprofitable.

      February 20, 2011 at 00:04 | Report abuse |
    • Good Patient

      Oh, for Pete's sake, J-Mo. What an idiotic statement.

      February 20, 2011 at 09:05 | Report abuse |
  7. Cathy

    After years of getting the flu shot (I am immunocompromised due to medication) I decided this year I wouldn't get it. why would I , I have never had the flu. Guess what? I have the flu. It is the most miserable, uncomfortable thing I have ever gone through. I am coughing so bad I have to take 2 prescription cough medicines and if I don't take them I cough up blood. I told my doc that next year I will be first in line for my flu shot. If it lessens my chance of getting the flu, even a little bit, it's worth it. I never want the flu again!

    February 18, 2011 at 22:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Rachel

    The flu shot is great–if the vaccines chosen months before flu season ends up being the flu that hits the country. Here in Washington, DC, I just finished a 3-week bout of one of the worst bugs I've ever had. Doctor told me everybody he's seeing has it–and it's not the flu people were vaccinated against.

    February 19, 2011 at 00:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • notation

      Quite true. But there's no down-side to getting the vaccine in the first place. It won't protect against any flu strain, but it will protect against some. People who get the vaccine won't be immune to every strain, but so what? The greatest number will be protected and fewer people will get sick.

      February 19, 2011 at 10:45 | Report abuse |
  9. Good Patient

    Period of contagiousness
    You may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5-7 days after becoming sick. Some people, especially children and people with weakened immune systems, might be able to infect others for an even longer time.

    February 19, 2011 at 12:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Good Patient

    If you want to see something funny, watch Penn and Teller's show about vaccine fear-mongers. It's a hoot. I think Ruby and Darrel are the stars of the show-the interviews with them are hilarious.

    February 19, 2011 at 12:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Likes "Good Patient"

      Well done

      February 20, 2011 at 12:24 | Report abuse |
    • Good Patient

      Aww, shucks.

      February 20, 2011 at 12:29 | Report abuse |
  11. Good Patient

    Episode 10: Vaccinations
    In the Season 8 finale, vaccination is considered modern medicine's greatest weapon against disease but thanks to pseudo-science and public gullibility, the debate over vaccination safety rages on.

    February 19, 2011 at 12:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Sydney

    It's sad to see the level of confusion on here from a few posters.

    There is no "shedding" of virus from flu shots, which do NOT contain live virus.

    And you get more mercury from eating a tuna fish sandwich than from any flu vaccine.

    Flu vaccines have been safely used for the past 50+ years. It's only in the age of the internet urban legend that all the misinformation and flat-out dangerously wrong rumors have been propagated. It's sad how much harm this is causing to the gullible and uneducated who believe this crazy stuff (and sadly, their children).

    If you really want facts, look at statistics on how many people, both children and adults, died annually of what are now preventable diseases before the age of basic vaccines (hint – think hundreds of thousands, back when the total population was also much smaller – a corresponding death toll now would be close to a million people a year). Vaccines – all types – have been one of the major health advances of the past century.

    February 19, 2011 at 15:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • notation

      Bravo, Sydney!

      February 19, 2011 at 16:10 | Report abuse |
    • Michele

      I know TWO people who got Guillan-Barre syndrome after receiving flu shots. I know it's supposed to be rare, but the risk does exist, and it's a pretty severe side effect.

      I myself, after receiving the flu shot three years ago, was unable to use my arm on that side for nearly three weeks. It was swollen and painful, and the lymph nodes on that side of my body swelled. I called my doctor and the CDC and was told that was a "normal" side effect, to go ahead and get my flu shot again the next year. I didn't, but I did get myself the blood tests for egg allergy–turns out I'm severely allergic. And the flu shot apparently contains traces of egg protein. I wish that those who are pro-vaccine would acknowledge that for some people, there are real risks from this vaccine and that it's benefits are overstated (see the recent article in The Atlantic if you want an objective assessment).

      As for the truly ridiculous argument (a favorite of the flu shot manufacturers) that more mercury exists in a tuna sandwich than in a thimerosol-containing flu shot–well, I don't eat tuna due to the mercury. It's a specious argument anyway. Taking one risk doesn't mean one should take another risk, too. Honestly, logic should be taught in the school, folks.

      February 19, 2011 at 17:45 | Report abuse |
    • Good Patient

      One doesn't HAVE to get a vaccine with thimerosal. Flu vaccines ARE AVAILABLE without it. What part of that has escaped your notice?

      February 20, 2011 at 09:07 | Report abuse |
    • Good Patient

      No, the truly ridiculous argument is the one that claims that exposure to the miniscule amount of thimerosal in a flu vaccine is even consequential, and that it's more dangerous to get vaccinated than it is to get the flu.

      February 20, 2011 at 09:24 | Report abuse |
    • Michele

      Umm... I certainly didn't mean to assert that it is more dangerous to get the flu vaccine than it is to take the RISK of getting the flu. I did mean to say that there are dangerous if rare side effects. I personally suffered one of them, and two people I know suffered a far more serious one. For me, personally, getting the vaccine IS far more dangerous than the risk of getting the flu, as I have a serious allergic reaction to the vaccine. I have had two doctors tell me NOT to get it again. Ergo hoc, for SOME people it is more dangerous to get the vaccine than to risk getting the flu.

      TO SYDNEY AND THE OTHER FOLKS HERE, please note that there are respected scientists and researchers out there who seriously question both the efficacy and the necessity of the flu vaccine. Read this article in The Atlantic to judge whether what I'm saying is true:

      I am not against all vaccines. I lived in East Africa for several years, and I have seen polio victims. Some vaccines are wonderful things. But that doesn't mean every single one of them is. And even if, in the end, it is proved that the flu vaccine is the best thing since penicillin, we should all welcome the questioning and debate over it that an open society welcomes. Those among us who are calling names and putting others down, please stop. You aren't going to convince anyone of the correctness of your position by being arrogant.

      February 20, 2011 at 17:31 | Report abuse |
    • nonovyerbeezwax

      Who cares if the crazies are convinced? When the absurdity of their claims is pointed out, readers with sense will see how ridiculous their posts are when they spew nonsense about "poisons" in vaccines. If you have an egg allergy or GB, of course you shouldn't get the vaccine. All the more reason those who can get it should. And those who attempt to spread misinformation deserve all the ridicule they get. It's a free country. If it bothers you, don't read the posts.

      February 20, 2011 at 17:58 | Report abuse |
    • Jabberwocky

      Here's a quote from the very article you cite:

      All of which leaves open the question of what people should do when faced with a decision about whether to get themselves and their families vaccinated. There is little immediate danger from getting a seasonal flu shot, aside from a sore arm and mild flu-like symptoms.

      February 20, 2011 at 18:17 | Report abuse |
    • Michele

      Dear Nonofyerbeezwax,
      You say "f you have an egg allergy or GB, of course you shouldn't get the vaccine. All the more reason those who can get it should. And those who attempt to spread misinformation deserve all the ridicule they get. It's a free country. If it bothers you, don't read the posts."

      My point in mentioning this is that the CDC hotline, when I called it and told of my reaction to the vaccine, TOLD ME TO GO AHEAD AND GET THE VACCINE ANYWAY! Fortunately, I went ahead and contacted an allergist and got tested for egg allergy...SO it IS important that people be aware of the possible side effects, which their doctors and/or the CDC may not warn them of.

      What a wonderful way of quoting out of context. The "cost" to the individual may be negligible–though the shot isn't free–unless that person happens to be one of the people, like one of my friends, who ends up with G-B and nearly two years of recovery time from it, or happens to me someone like me, who ends up unable to use her arm for nearly three weeks (I need my arm for my work...) But the cost to society is huge. Flu vaccine costs our health care system many millions of dollars, which could be better spent if in fact the flu vaccine is basically useless, as some evidence suggest–here's another quote from the Atlantic article: "The history of flu vaccination suggests other reasons to doubt claims that it dramatically reduces mortality. In 2004, for example, vaccine production fell behind, causing a 40 percent drop in immunization rates. Yet mortality did not rise. In addition, vaccine “mismatches” occurred in 1968 and 1997: in both years, the vaccine that had been produced in the summer protected against one set of viruses, but come winter, a different set was circulating. In effect, nobody was vaccinated. Yet death rates from all causes, including flu and the various illnesses it can exacerbate, did not budge. Sumit Majumdar, a physician and researcher at the University of Alberta, in Canada, offers another historical observation: rising rates of vaccination of the elderly over the past two decades have not coincided with a lower overall mortality rate. In 1989, only 15 percent of people over age 65 in the U.S. and Canada were vaccinated against flu. Today, more than 65 percent are immunized. Yet death rates among the elderly during flu season have increased rather than decreased. "
      Best wishes and thank you for remaining respectful and courteous, in future.

      February 20, 2011 at 19:00 | Report abuse |
    • nonovyerbeezwax

      As I said before, no one's holding a gun to your head. If you don't like my posts, don't read them. Simple as that. I'll post as I please, and you can scroll or scram. I don't care which. Neither does anyone else.

      February 20, 2011 at 20:08 | Report abuse |
    • Jabberwocky

      I reiterate: Bite me if you don't like it.

      February 20, 2011 at 20:09 | Report abuse |
  13. Delores & Clyde Billingsly

    A lot of people incorrectly assume that they have the flu when in reality they have gastoenteritis, or as it is commonly called, the stomach flu. Unless you have actually had "influenza" you have never had the flu. I have had it once in 54 years and I NEVER want to get it again. It is terrible and can be deadly for a healthy person in addition to immuno compromised individuals. I was 23 when I had it and ended up with pnuemonia because I did not take enough care. I have been getting an annual flu shot for 10 years and will continue to do so for my health and the health of my son who has asthma. I am not only protecting myself but I am helping to protect babies that are too young to get vaccinated. People who don't get vaccinated because of fear mongering are not just hurting themselves but other people that cannot get vaccinated because they are too young or their health prohibits the shot. If you are sick, stay home and take care of yourself. I guess that the anti-vaccine crowd will learn the meaning of natural selection and survival of the fittest, hopefully no innocents will suffer because of their misguided notions.

    February 19, 2011 at 17:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Melanie

    I am wondering how long the period of contagiousness is after a child has been on Tamiflu. He has been on the medication since Tuesday night and has not had any fever since Thursday afternoon. This is the 1st year I didn't get flu shots for myself and the boys and I am regretful of that now.

    February 19, 2011 at 18:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jabberwocky

      Couldn't tell you. Ask Michelle. She knows everything.

      February 20, 2011 at 20:55 | Report abuse |
  15. Lisa

    Interesting, though I know no one wants to hear this on this thread, but ACTUALLY EATING FRUITS AND VEGETABLES, and not junk= fast food, and sleeping 6-8 hours a night, and washing your hands is BETTER than the flu shot. I know silly, right?? EVERYTHING you put in your body has side effects, have you ever read the INGREDIENTS of a flu shot???? You think it is healthy, like a vitamin think again. Especially to be getting every single year...... In addition, I know at least 20 people that have been diagnosed with the flu, sick for a week and guess what THEY ALL HAD THIS YEARS FLU SHOT.

    February 19, 2011 at 20:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • J-Mo

      We are in the same boat Lisa. People worry so much about the flu because they aren't taking the steps to prevent it and it is "Easy" to get a poke. I wish they would realize that it is a trick. What is the side effects of a flu shot years down the road after getting them every year? All I am saying is that I know that there is a better way than a sorcery filled shot. But people will keep taking them until everyone starts falling out from them. Germany was just like us at one time. Nice and asleep

      February 20, 2011 at 00:14 | Report abuse |
    • notation

      You can eat fruit and vegetables, get 8 hours of sleep a night, and do everything else to stay healthy, but if you are exposed to 500 people a week and one of them is contagious, you can still get the flu. Don't be stupid.

      February 20, 2011 at 09:02 | Report abuse |
    • Good Patient

      J-Mo, this is one of the dumbest posts ever. Like Germany? Sorcery?

      February 20, 2011 at 09:03 | Report abuse |
    • notation

      If they were only sick for a week with one of the strains for which the vaccine was manufactured, then the vaccine helped. People who get the flu are sick for more than a week.

      As for the INGREDIENTS OF THE FLU SHOT, OMG!! Chicken Little! The sky is falling!

      Go find out what concentrations of said ingredients are used in vaccines, doofus. Then look up what level of exposure is considered dangerous to one's health.

      Really, you are a hoot, honey.

      February 20, 2011 at 09:28 | Report abuse |
    • Jabberwocky

      Lisa, did you know that vitamins can be dangerous? Look it up. So can drinking too much water.

      Silly girl.

      February 20, 2011 at 12:09 | Report abuse |
    • Delores & Clyde Billingsly

      If they were sick for a week they did NOT have influenza.

      February 20, 2011 at 15:13 | Report abuse |
  16. Fuyuko

    Don't I know it? I'm home sick, although I don't know if it is the flu. Got it from a co-worker who should've stayed home, but came to cough for a while before he finally decided yes, he really was too ill to be there. LOL. So now, this is day 3 and I hope to be well enough to go back to work on monday! Thanks a lot buddy! Next time, YES you are too sick to come into work if you just got over a fever and the wife and kids are still very ill!

    February 20, 2011 at 00:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. stacy

    I have never had a flu vaccine. Ever. I am almost 30. Yes I realize I am not an infant or senior. I have only had flu once as an adult, about 8 years ago. BTW I live in Houston, where practically any germ can incubate anytime of the year. I guess my point is I have never received this vaccine and only caught flu once, years ago. Why inject "inert" poisons and lab grown viruses into my body to prevent what? the freaking flu?? give me a break and let me know when a real vaccine comes out.

    February 20, 2011 at 01:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • das272

      In your case Stacy your age is definately an advantage in staving off the flu. I was the same way, never got vaccinated because I rarely if ever got sick until I hit my mid 40s and started catching nearly any bug that came along each year. I now get a flu shot every year. The vaccine itself does not contain a live virus by the way, and so far it's kept me from repeated bouts with the flu each year. To me it's worth getting vaccinated if it means staying healthy for another year.

      February 20, 2011 at 04:02 | Report abuse |
    • Jabberwocky

      And another self-absorbed twit who can't figure out that getting the vaccine doesn't just protect YOU, stacy. It protects others FROM YOU. But, like others who can't be bothered to have any concern for anyone other than themselves, that doesn't matter to you.

      February 20, 2011 at 10:15 | Report abuse |
    • Delores & Clyde Billingsly

      Wait until you infect your elderly parents or your sisters baby then come back and tell us why you shouldn't get a flu shot.

      February 20, 2011 at 15:16 | Report abuse |
  18. Angela

    I had a flu shot Nov 19, and I have had the flu since last week. I kept telling the Dr.."But I had a flu shot."... to which he replied..."That doesn't guarantee you won't get the flu. 1.You could have a different strain than what the vaccine was for...or 2. Having the vaccine will make your symptoms and duration of illness less severe." I have been sick 6 days now, so, if this is less severe or doesn't last as long as "normal" flu, heaven help those who didn't get the vaccine at all.

    February 20, 2011 at 06:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Carol Weaver

    I usually get the flu shot every year. Last year I had the regular flu shot, then the H1N1 shot a month later. I ended up with a frozen shoulder and had to endure 3 months of physical therapy and $1,000 in bills. Not this year!

    February 20, 2011 at 08:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. smilinggreenmom

    I can't believe our state is in RED! Wow! Thankfully we have really worked hard to make extra healthy lifestyle choices this year to hopefully boost our immune system! We eat a mostly whole foods diet, drink only water and green tea and we take our probiotic from Vidazorb (our kids take their kids chewable called Belly Boost). I also enforce a consistent bedtime but wish we had a way of exercising more consistently in the winter months! Our son has egg allergies and we were told not to give him a flu shot so we work so hard on prevention!

    February 20, 2011 at 15:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • nonovyerbeezwax

      Glad you are looking out for your children, since they can't have the vaccine. Kids like yours are the reason others should be vaccinated if at all possible.

      February 20, 2011 at 18:00 | Report abuse |
  21. YounanMarketingAndManagementAssociatesInc, Int'l Intst'r

    I constantly have flu like stomach problems, but it isn't the flu and i take different off the shelf or home diet remedies to recover. I don't think vaccination will solve anything you already have. vaccination is a preventative measure. and most already have that flu like sickness. vaccination at an already contaminated level would only make matters more lethal, especially if they are varying flu cultures overtaking the system. the vaccine culture is just going to join in with the other diseases and it isn't going to kill them.rftttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttfrrrrrrrrrrrmy cat just walked across the keyboard, it's like the more disease the merrier for them. maybe that catwalk means its tetanus = to rabies. remember too you gave everybody a vaccine more than once for that. i am pretty sure i am sick enough now to cope with the world you've created instead of how it was supposed to be. don't you think we've been disabled enough to be able.

    February 20, 2011 at 18:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jabberwocky

      Get help, Lassie.

      February 20, 2011 at 18:49 | Report abuse |
    • Michele

      Dear Jabberwocky,
      Please remain courteous. This is borderline abusive. Thank you.

      February 20, 2011 at 19:03 | Report abuse |
    • Jabberwocky

      BIte me. I don't have to be courteous to idiots. Or to you.

      February 20, 2011 at 20:06 | Report abuse |
  22. YNot

    Who the hell made you the thread nanny, Michelle? Last I checked, CNN's forums aren't yours to monitor. You don't get to decide who posts what or how they do it. Go find a Kindergarten to boss around, lady.

    February 20, 2011 at 20:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • StarChamber

      There's are lots of power trippers out there with nothing better to do but try to lead your successful life vicariously.

      February 21, 2011 at 12:43 | Report abuse |
  23. mclj2011

    I was always the guy who never got the flu shot and always got the flu. My wife now insists on it, and this year, so far, I didn't get the flu even though all of my co-workers did. So, I'll be getting my flu shot from now on.

    February 20, 2011 at 20:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jabberwocky

      Stick that up your fundament, Michelle.

      February 20, 2011 at 20:18 | Report abuse |
    • Michele

      Dear mclj011. Correlation does not mean causality. My father never got the flu and never got the flu shot. This year, he got the flu shot for the first time, and he now has the flu (according to his doctor)... I would not decide based on that, though, that the flu shot caused his flu!

      What I'd love to see is someone actually responding to my post about the cost to society of the flu shot and the more-than-doubtful efficacy of it, as discussed in the Atlantic article. Thanks!

      Actually, the real "thread nannies" here are the ones calling other people names for not holding the same opinions as the posters...

      February 20, 2011 at 21:15 | Report abuse |
    • Jabberwocky

      No, putz, thread nannies are little twits that dream they have any say in what's posted whatever, you moron.

      February 20, 2011 at 21:27 | Report abuse |
    • Michele

      1) Would you please address the substantive points that I and/or the Atlantic article made?

      2) The first of the three insulting names you called me in your most recent post is both a vulgarity and an obscenity (see its Wikipedia definition). Perhaps you didn't know the meaning of the word and/or its Yiddish root.

      3) Please see the CNN Rules of Conduct for why #2 is not okay.

      I'm bowing out of this, since you and others are clearly not inclined to take up an actual discussions of the issues. So feel free to cast insults at me rather than discuss the issues–not that the name calling bothered me, rather I found the infantilism on display here by a few rather amusing.

      February 20, 2011 at 23:24 | Report abuse |
  24. Carl

    Here's a crazy idea. For those of you that get the flu shot, just to let you know, studies have already shown that Vitamin D protects you more than the flu shot ever will. Just eat well, sleep well, drink clean water and eliminate processed sugars and I assure you, you will be fine. Save yourself getting injected with ethylmercury every year.

    February 21, 2011 at 00:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jabberwocky

      No, it has not. But good luck spamming your company, dear, as you do in every single Health thread. Vitamin D hasn't been proven to be better than the flu shot at all. It has been shown in some studies to help, but not to replace the vaccine in terms of immunity.

      February 21, 2011 at 09:06 | Report abuse |
  25. Carlisindeedcrazy

    Yeah Carl, that is a crazy, completely unsubstantiated, fadish, to say nothing of dangerous idea. Please cite the research, because you are simply misguided. The flu shot is a very well educated guess on which flu strains will be prevalent in the population, so some years are better than others. This year's shot is pretty darn effective and covers several strains of flu. Vitamin D supports immune function yes, and many of us, come this time of year, and with too much sunscreen in the summer months, have depleted stores..but saying that the essential vitamin protects anybody, "more than the flu shot ever will," is simply not sound science. Sleep and fluids is another story.

    February 21, 2011 at 06:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jabberwocky

      Kudos. Carl goes by several other screen names and is obviously investing in some company that's attempting to sell Vitamin D as a cure-all. He and his pals have even made claims that Vitamin D will prevent cancer.

      February 21, 2011 at 09:08 | Report abuse |
  26. health & safety canada

    Nice information and the focus of public health intervention is to prevent rather than treat a disease through surveillance of cases and the promotion of healthy behaviors. In addition to these activities, in many cases treating a disease may be vital to preventing it in others, such as during an outbreak of an infectious disease.

    February 21, 2011 at 06:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Oljim

    Interesting neutral observation- pro-vaccine people are so aggressive and hateful toward the other group. Why do you (pro-vaccine) blame someone who is trying to stay healthy? They are no danger to all of you. Flu viruses do not live in healthy bodies. I think if we all become more friendly and compassionate to each other, this planet will be better place for all of us.

    February 21, 2011 at 10:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jared

      @Oljim, very well said. If you are healthy your immune system will attack the flu and you will suffer minimal if any symptoms. Oh and as a bonus you will DEVELOP antibodies that will recognize THIS STRAIN (as opposed to the CDC's best guess) of the flu next time and you will not get it at all. Viruses are useful products of nature, vaccines are useful as well and I am not opposed to them per se, but as for the argument that we should all get them to protect the young, old or immune compromised...sorry, natural selection folks.

      February 21, 2011 at 12:52 | Report abuse |
    • Jabberwocky

      Wow. Just wow. I hope natural selection is how you view it when your infant or your elderly parent dies from complications of the flu.

      February 21, 2011 at 17:24 | Report abuse |
  28. Sara

    If the logic of "everyone that can must get vaccinated or they are putting the one's that can't be vaccinated at risk" holds any clout, then who do you blame when a flu vaccinated person gets the flu and passes it to someone that can't be vaccinated? Who can you blame then? Vaccination is NOT a blame game, it is still a CHOICE and to make someone feel guilty for not getting vaccinated is insane, likewise to make someone feel guilty for getting vaccinated is insane.

    February 21, 2011 at 10:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jabberwocky

      Of course this could happen, but having been vaccinated lowers the risk of such an event. And what's the possible downside if you're not allergic to eggs, don't have GB and aren't otherwise unable to be vaccinated? I can't make anyone "feel guilty" anymore than you can. It's not a matter of blame, it's a matter of health.

      February 21, 2011 at 17:27 | Report abuse |
  29. StarChamber

    If you like autism and alzheimer's, you'll love the flu shot. Wake up, people. They are made in China and contain all sorts of junk that doesn't need to be floating around in your body and building up in your brain.

    February 21, 2011 at 12:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jabberwocky

      Clalptrap. Prove that Alzheimer's and autism are caused by flu shots. You're out of your gourd. "All sorts of junk floating around in your body and building up in your brain"? Sounds like there's plenty of junk floating around and building up in your brain, anyway.

      February 21, 2011 at 17:29 | Report abuse |
  30. Jabberwocky

    It's nearly a given that when some witless wonder posts "Wake up people" what follows is nothing but cowflop.

    February 21, 2011 at 17:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • guy fawkes

      ok jaberwocky then how can you explain the Alzheimer's has gone up 200% in the past 10 years. ever seen those big long white streaks in the sky coming from airplanes, they're dropping aluminum barium and strontium. a test of snow over Mt. Shasta CA has shown that the pure water they have there should have less than 1000 parts per billion of aluminum in it and when it was tested is was shown to have 61000 parts per billion. a former U.S. senator from Arizona did a test of the air on her ranch and showed that instead of 2 parts per million of aluminum it was 39000. to link it together the company Monsanto that invented Agent Orange in Vietnam now creates Genetically Modified Seeds that only grow once and then die. they are resistant to aluminum toxicity poisening specifically. look it up. if i know nothing how come I can quote you exact names and statistics of the things im saying what is your argument? ok here is a breakdown of swine flu deaths worldwide. interesting note there were 44,640 cases of swine flu in the U.S. with 10,837 deaths thats a 25% death rate WORLDWIDE there were 1,438,880 cases and only 14,337 deaths thats less than 1% guess where the biggest number of vaccines occured thats right the U.S. almost all the info on the vaccine from other countries is that it was dangerous and has many side effects


      official cdc counts on death toll in the above link

      February 21, 2011 at 18:46 | Report abuse |
    • Good Patient

      Prove it's "gone up 200%", dear. You can show that there are actually 200% more cases of Alzheimer's now than there were ten years ago? Or do you mean that there are 200% more people who are actually diagnosed because Alzheimer's is now recognized sooner? Or do you mean that more people are living long enough to get Alzheimer's because they're not dying of something else sooner? By the way, how does even showing that any of the above are true prove that flu vaccine is the cause?

      Oh, wait, you think contrails are the cause, don't you?


      February 21, 2011 at 18:56 | Report abuse |
  31. guy fawkes

    no one should ever get vaccinated, not just bringing up the mercury argument like everyone else but even dr.'s tell you not to get it. you know the original 1976 swine flu vaccine gave many people who received it Guillain–Barré syndrome which is a rare disease that attacks the nervous system and causes accending paralysis. you still have a "small" chance of getting it now in today's vaccines its in the Walgreens flu vaccine pamphlet. the fact is you have no idea what is coming through that needle and yeah most of the time its nothing but in 1989 George H.W. Bush's cabinet came up with a plan to use the flu vaccine to put computer chips in the U.S. population don't believe me heres the link with a pic of the original newspaper article


    so don't get the vaccine it only helps they're cause and makes billions of dollars for private corporations

    February 21, 2011 at 18:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Good Patient

      "They're cause", huh? You do know what you wrote is simply short for "they are cause", don't you?

      Of course you don't. Poor thing.

      February 21, 2011 at 18:48 | Report abuse |
  32. Good Patient

    Here's the home page of the site guy fawkes thinks is a reliable, unbiased source of information:

    Welcome to the Unhypnotize Community!
    A great place to discuss conspiracies, UFOs, NWO, truth, reality and enlightenment.

    • » Conspiracies Discussions
    • » UFOs and Extraterrestrial
    • » Spiritual and Paranormal
    • » World and Alternative News

    Its time wake up to the global conspiracy...and move beyond
    Our community is here spend truth and discuss the Global Conspiracy and the world wide Truth Movement!


    February 21, 2011 at 18:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Good Patient

    The part I like best is the "Our community is here spend truth and discuss the Global Conspiracy and the world wide Truth Movement."

    I wish they'd organize a world-wide literacy program and enroll in it.

    February 21, 2011 at 18:52 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.