Health officials are advising we get flu shots early

Toby

Flu season peaks in August and September in Australia but this year it peaked in July. There were over 270,000 cases of flu reported in Australia, making this the worst flu season in their history.

https://thehill.com/homenews/news/463354-azar-other-public-health-officials-press-people-to-get-flu-shots-early

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Uptown Gal

And, it takes about 2 weeks to become fully effective. Had mine on the 24th.

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Uptown Gal

Wouldn't let me "edit"...so, hope the shots work this year...nothing is guaranteed. Had the nasty stuff years ago, and sure don't want that again.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

For those who are 65 and over, don't forget to ask for the senior vaccine. It offers more protection.

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TXSkeeter

Read an article several days ago in some senior publication to investigate the difference between the two current flu vaccines before you choose which one to get OR ask your doctor's opinion before you choose. It noted that the vaccine for the three most common types of flu is slightly stronger than the newer vaccine that is formulated for four types of flu. For older folks, the author's stated opinion was that for seniors, the stronger version (3 types) may be advantageous over the weaker but more encompassing version (4 types). Any post vaccine shot side effects noted were similar between the two choices so no difference there to speak of.

As a disclaimer, I have no issue with either vaccine that my doc or health professional suggests I/we get... I'm just forwarding information that I read and thought it might be of interest to the group. Apparently sometimes more is better and sometimes it's not.

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always1stepbehind

last year was my first time getting a flu shot...The Rite Aid pharmacist got me. This year I got it when I went in for my yearly check up a couple weeks ago.

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morz8

We'll be going sometime in the next couple of weeks for ours. Most years we've had them by Halloween and i thought a little earlier this season. Last year - for some reason we didn't get around to it until later and the only pharmacy in town with the senior dose was Walmart - our local store's pharmacy does not have a good reputation for efficiency or few errors and we don't use it.

We got the broader spectrum shots. The Rite Aid pharmacist said active and healthy, he felt it was still a good choice for us both. It was that, or leave town after making some phone calls and finding out who had serum left and where (in early Nov). Neither of us had flu but I'd like the choice of which shot this year, not 'this one or nothing' ;0)

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terilyn

We all got ours several weeks ago. We had two friends that came down with it in August. Doctors said last year’s strain never left!

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Lars

I got my flu shot yesterday at my doctor's office when I went in for my
annual physical. I got the new shingles vaccine (first dose) just about
three weeks ago in Cathedral City. I had had the prescription for
months but the drug stores in Los Angeles never had it in stock. I have
to go back for the second vaccine three to six months after the first
vaccine, and so I put it on my calendar.

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mdln

Some flu info...

Onset, peaks, and duration over past several years:

Flu types last year:

Pediatric deaths from the flu:

Wish it was 100%, but few things are:


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NewEnglandgal

I got the flu shot last year and still got the flu. I had a friend who got the stronger version and she said she was sick as a dog. Pro's and cons to both getting it and not getting it. Elderly should definitely have it.

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Toby

Mdln, is the flu one of those diseases where if you had the vaccine and still get the flu, it lessens the symptoms?

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NewEnglandgal

Toby it sure did not lessen mine! I had to go to the ER I was so sick!

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cooper8828

My office is in the Department of Health building for my region. I was speaking with the nurse manager the other day about when I should get my flu shot. Building policy is by October 1 or your have to wear a mask. She says probably we should be revaccinated in January and pulled out all these graphs showing why (very late flu season here last year). Since our insurance will only pay for one vaccine, she is trying to get the state to pay for a second one. We will see...

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mdln

@ toby, yes! Here is research published last October. Less likely to need hospital admission, less likely to be admitted to ICU, and less likely to die.

Influenza vaccine effectiveness in reducing severe outcomes over six influenza seasons

https://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2018.23.43.1700732?rel=0

People often get an infection from one of the >200 respiratory viruses (rhinovirus, corona virus, parainfluenza, adenovirus, respiratory syncytial, etc.) and think it is the "flu" because there are some common symptoms.

In the ED, patients often seem disappointed when I tell them their flu testing was negative and symptoms are more consistent with the "common cold," so we tell them they have a viral respiratory infection.


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Anglophilia

Need to get mine this weekend! I always try to get them by the end of Sept.

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salonva

I was planning to get it when I go for my scheduled annual the first week in November. Now I am thinking maybe I should see if I can just get the shot sooner. FWIW I generally have very good resistance and just realized I have not seen the dr since my last annual check up and subsequent blood work.

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functionthenlook

I like to wait till mid October. We are all stuck inside because of the weather usually from November thru March spreading germs. If I get it too early the effectiveness of the immunization wears off before the flu season is waning.

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graywings123

functionthenlook - I told that theory to my pharmacist, and he said it is not true. The effectiveness doesn't wear off before the season wanes. The problem is that the virus mutates, so it is possible to be more vulnerable later in the season. But getting the vaccine later will not help that.

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Debby

Flu shots won't be available here until mid-October. We are already getting in all our supplies (gloves, needles, alcohol swabs), just waiting for the flu shots to arrive, but it'll be a few more weeks.


I never get the flu shot.

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functionthenlook

The effectiveness of the flu shot is 6 months. Getting it in October gives us maximum protection during high flu season. Of course only for the strains that the flu shot contains. What strains will be prevalent in a flu season is an educated guess.

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bob_cville

For a few seconds I thought that this comment that mdln made:

Wish it was 100%, but few things are:

was associated with the image that preceded it which is titled


Pediatric deaths from the flu:


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sealavender

Going today to get it. My healthcare practice has an "open house."

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Elmer J Fudd

My now retired doc, wise from years or practice, always advised me to get it in October. He's retired and I'm with another one but I continue to follow that advice.

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Zalco/bring back Sophie!

Re-vaccinated in January? Has anyone else heard of this?

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Elmer J Fudd

No

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functionthenlook

It's not as important where or when in the fall you get vaccinated. You can get vaccinated in September or procrastinate and get it in December. What is important is that you just get vaccinated. If you medically can. Also wash those hands!

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Uptown Gal

Not sure a December vaccination would do much good for the flu hitting in

October. But...yep...washing those hands can make a difference.

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functionthenlook

No it doesn't help if the flu hits in October, but it helps not to get the flu or even better transmit the flu to someone else during the high season than not getting the shot at all.

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Uptown Gal

Ah, I see what you meant. But, they are forecasting that "high season" is

starting in October this year. They are "guessing" of course, but I think

they guess better than I can (most of the time?) ;) Or, were you not speaking

about this year? Just in general? Sorry...I am slow this morning.

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functionthenlook

I didn't read what is predicted to be high season this year. Wow that is early. I was just speaking in general. Yes, when and what strains will hit this year is an educated guessing game.

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sealavender

The materials I received yesterday indicated that children 6 mos to 8 years may need 2 doses during a single flu season. Everyone else needs only 1.

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mdln


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ldstarr

Just got mine Friday. I had an appointment for follow-up from another health issue and got it while I was there.

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katlan

We got ours last week.

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Anglophilia

Got mine today! Made my deadline (always end of Sept).

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cynic

I got mine a week or two ago when I needed a blood test. I usually preferred to wait until late October so it carried me through the worst part which is usually around Feb-Mar. A flu shot is only good for about 5 months (give or take a bit), not a year like many think. Never used to get flu shots until about 8-10 years ago and I did get the flu a couple times at first. Supposedly it should help keep the severity down and make recovery faster but it's an assumption that the vaccine covers the strain you get. When you run an effectiveness of 10-15% as flu vaccines often do, it's common to question whether it's good or not. I've come to terms with the small benefit still being advantageous.

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mdln


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joann_fl

I had mine in March of this year, do I need another one?

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functionthenlook

Joann, yes you do. The flu shot lasts at the max 6 months.

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marylmi

I stopped in to Walgreens yesterday to get my flu shot but they were all out of the stronger version and won't be getting it in until a week or so. I'll just wait. I could go somewhere else of course, but I am happy with their service.

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LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

They are having a flu shot clinic at my office next Tuesday. I have the 1st appointment!

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chloebud

Got mine at Sam's Club last week, along with the pneumonia shot (first time for that one).

I've been getting the flu shot for 5 years now. I have to say, I never got as sick before getting the shot. Something severe usually hits me about 3-4 months later. However, I won't stop getting the shot.

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Uptown Gal

I know this thread is a bit old...but don't forget...the shot doesn't take effect

immediately..it takes a couple of weeks to be fully effective. And, if you

"got the flu from having the shot"...you were already exposed to the flu

when you had the shot.

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morz8

Marylmi, I had trouble finding one for my mother earlier this week too. I checked at two Kaiser facilities near her residence and neither had the senior dose. We had taken her for a doctors appointment and DH said, I'll just pay for the shot for her at the Walgreens clinic back at her residence then (Walgreens doesn't process Kaiser ins). Walgreens was holding a clinic at a senior living facility with no senior dose shots - they were giving everyone the shot for the 'normal' population. I chose not to have her vaccinated (92 and frail). Will have to keep working on it, Kaiser said they thought they should have some in a few days.

We hadn't been vaccinated either and we get the senior dose. The first place I called Wednesday when we were home again was out and they couldn't guarantee they would have more. They suggested Safeway as still having some. They did. We got our shots at the Safeway pharmacy. Which still doesn't help Mom at 120 miles away but I'm in touch with Kaiser and fingers are crossed. And FYI, the Safeway pharmacist said when his was gone, there would be no more there. He estimated he had enough to cover the next two or so days.

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marylmi

I think I'll call Walgreens pharmacy in the morning and ask about the shot again( last time I asked at the front counter) and maybe they will put me on the list to call when it comes in.

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breenthumb

Senior vaccine is out of stock at several places here too. They say until mid week next week. My annual physical is Tues. I'm hoping they have it. In the meantime, I'll see if any places have lists going. They didn't mention or offer that option when I was there. Friend got hers a week ago at Walmart.

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terilyn

One of our hospitals used to do drive through shots, they quit doing it several years ago. I’m sure more people were vaccinated that way, it was so easy.

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salonva

The post with the image that Mdlin shared is really so spot on. Vaccines- it isn't always about you. Excellent reminder.

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