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Winter Flu Jabs - for or against?

(179 Posts)
grannysue05 Sun 08-Oct-17 14:27:15

The letters have dropped on our mats this weekend....You know, the invitation to attend for flu jabs.
DH and I have never opted for the jabs, and , fingers crossed, have only had real flu twice in all our years (late seventies).
We have friends who religiously take up the offer. Most have a 'reaction" within days, but that passes. The sore arm goes on for a week or more.
Most of the friends have then gone on to catch flu later in that paticular winter. Mostly from GC's .
I have read that the treated virus's are taken from the previous years' flu epidemic, and a mix is made up from this.
The flu that arrives each season has mutated from the previous year, so the actual vaccination serum is not really relevant.
Are we wise to keep pumping in these foreign bodies?
Can we not rely on our immune systems?

Jane10 Sun 08-Oct-17 14:38:22

I always have it. I had real flu ten years ago and it scared me how ill I was.
A friend got swine flu and had to be flown to specialist hospital and put on ECMO machine in a special ward for swine flu cases. The family were told that not all patients made it. He did but hasn't been fully well ever since. Your choice though.
PS absolutely no reaction to the vaccine. No sore arm either. Proficient nurse helps.

maryeliza54 Sun 08-Oct-17 14:38:34

I have had the jab since I was 65 and have not had either a reaction or the flu. I've read that this year they are expecting a flu strain from the really bad one in Australia and they have taken this into account in this year's vaccine but I can't remember where I read that so can't vouch for the source. I know it's true that the flu in Australia has been really really bad this year. It's also said that if you have the jab, if you do catch the flu then it won't be as bad. Because I know it's true that the older you are, the more likely you are to be very very ill with flu or even die, I will continue to have the jab ( I'm booked for next week).Also, if I'm not vaccinated and catch it, I could infect others and I feel guilty about that, My dd works in a hospital( not front line) but has the jab every year to protect the vulnerable patients she might come into contact with in passing.

ninathenana Sun 08-Oct-17 14:54:33

H and I had ours this week it's recommended as we are both diabetic.
Neither of us has ever had symptoms following the jab or even a sore arm and not had flu even a bad cold since pre jab days.
<touches wood>

Nannarose Sun 08-Oct-17 14:56:14

I have had flu jabs for the last umpteen years -as frontline NHS staff, as a carer, privately, and now because I'm 'of age'. Couple of times I've apparently had a minor reaction - but it's never certain if that was a bug incubating at the point I had the jab!
The flu jabs can never protect you from every passing virus (some of which may be another strain of influenza, others just nasty bugs!). And of course influenza will evolve quicker than the machinery of manufacturing the vaccine!
However, overall they do a decent job of protecting vulnerable people from most of the worst strains of influenza. Best to think of it as doing a public health job, lessening the effects of flu on the population, rather than protecting every individual against every strain of flu.

One reason we don't have compulsory vaccinations in this country is so that individuals can make their own choices, based on their understanding of the benefits and risks.

vampirequeen Sun 08-Oct-17 14:57:45

I had mine a few days ago. The nurse told me that this year they're expecting a particularly nasty version so I would recommend you get it done.

Charleygirl Sun 08-Oct-17 15:02:57

I had my flu jab two weeks ago- no sore arm and no side effects. I have had the flu jab every year for as long as I can remember and cannot remember having flu since I was a child.

I also have read that there have been deaths in Australia this year from people contracting the flu.

BlueBelle Sun 08-Oct-17 15:12:45

No sore arm and no side effects and haven’t had flu since I started having them first as a NHS worker then after I retired for my age

I have also had the pneumonia jab when I hit 70 as a few friends had been very very ill in hospiral with it one was in for five weeks touch and go and one died after a few days in hospital I also had the shingles jab as that’s a nasty old thing when you get older they are both one offs

Greyduster Sun 08-Oct-17 15:20:25

We had ours last week, and as an extra for being good, they gave me a shingles jab as well (they used to give you a sweet!). We have never had a reaction to the flu jab, but I do agree that they don't seem to be able to keep up with all these various strains of flu that keep occurring.

TerriBull Sun 08-Oct-17 15:59:05

I've had it done, I pay for mine as I'm under 65, I've been having it for a few years now and have never had side effects. However I was told by the pharmacist who administered it this year it won't protect against the Australian strain that we are to expect this winter.

cornergran Sun 08-Oct-17 16:04:59

We've had ours, no adverse reactions. I've had a flu jab for many years as I was NHS staff. The only year I missed I caught flu - coincidence maybe but I suspect not.

harrigran Sun 08-Oct-17 16:56:22

We will be having ours, can't risk catching flu.

grannysue05 Sun 08-Oct-17 16:58:04

Thanks everyone.
Food for thought.

BBbevan Sun 08-Oct-17 17:01:21

DH and I always have our flu jabs and have never had flu . We have had shingles and pneumonia jabs too. The only time I felt unwell for a few hours was when I had the flu and pneumonia jabs at the same time.

rockgran Sun 08-Oct-17 17:35:08

My husband had a heart attack earlier this year so we thought we should get it done this time. (First time ever.) It was very quick and no after effects so far. They also gave my husband the shingles jab and he is fine. Fingers crossed it does the job.

maryeliza54 Sun 08-Oct-17 17:41:12

Although they say you can have flu and shingles and flu and pneumonia jabs together, I've chosen not to. No evidence base but I felt better about that and didn't mind the extra trip to the surgery

midgey Sun 08-Oct-17 17:47:07

At least if you have had the jab no one can moan should you be unlucky and get flu later! That’s how I have worked for last few years!!

Luckygirl Sun 08-Oct-17 17:53:25

We had ours yesterday. I do not think my OH would survive flu.

Bellanonna Sun 08-Oct-17 17:55:50

Had it 10 days ago. Sore arm, but not a problem. Since then, flu-like symptoms, aches, head cold and chesty cough but I’m sure that’s a separate bug. My GP did warn me that I’m not covered fir the Oz strain, so fingers crossed. Nothing I can do tbh. I had the pneumonia jab and then had pneumonia two years ago, so things don’t always work. I feel, just do what you can.

M0nica Sun 08-Oct-17 19:06:33

I am neither for or against, but I have never had flu, neither have my sisters nor did my parents. During the 1957 Asian flu pandemic I was at boarding school and eventually the school closed for a fortnight so many teachers and pupils had succumbed. I returned to the army camp where I lived, and the flue epidemic again was laying every one low - except us.

I have since read that about 40% of the population have a built in protection against flue. I assume my family must be among that group so, while I quite accept my thinking is irrational I do not have the flu jab in case it compromises my probable natural immunity.

Iam64 Sun 08-Oct-17 20:03:18

Ive had flu once, over the millennium. It was dreadful, people who say they went to work/staggered round the shop with flu, didn't have flu, they had a heavy cold or chest infection. Flu puts you in bed and leaves you weak.
I do have the flu jab because of age and immune issues. I hope I never get flu again and can see why after WW1, so many people died as a result of the flu epidemic.

Lazigirl Sun 08-Oct-17 20:18:02

As a retired health professional I have always promoted flu vaccs for the elderly and vulnerable and always had them myself but honestly think that whether they are very effective is quite complex. I think it is true that some people have an immunity to flu, probably from a previous infection. The concern is, how do you know? The other factor is with age, the immune system is weaker but unfortunately the flu vaccine is also less effective in the elderly, and the virus mutates. On balance I still hedge my bets and have the jab.

Deedaa Sun 08-Oct-17 20:27:13

We always have them. DH is diabetic and has a compromised immune system and I don't want to risk catching it myself and making him ill.

I haven't had flu for many years thank goodness. DD once had to fly to America with flu. She spent the whole flight alternating between nosebleeds and throwing up - not an experience she has ever forgotten.

Ambergirl Sun 08-Oct-17 20:36:19

It isn't a live vaccine, so you don't get flu from it. It is a mix of the current viruses around and will afford some protection but not to all. I think it is worth having and have it every year. It won't stop 100% of people getting flu 100% of the time, nothing will, but on balance personally I tink it is worth it!

phoenix Sun 08-Oct-17 20:45:48

I'm 59 and recently diagnosed with COPD. When I went to my GP to check if the meds I had been prescribed were doing the job, I said "I expect you will want to give me the flu jab?" He had already got the kit ready.

I said "I suppose you will want an arm, then!" He told me that he would actually want 2 arms, as he was going to give me the pneumonia one as well!

One arm is still a tiny bit achy, but as I don't know which vaccine went into which arm, I can't say which is the culprit!