Flu shots this fall

Ann

I just got a flu shot and chatted with the woman giving it to me. She told me they are expecting quite a lot of people to get them this year. She said in Australia, about 600,000 were given flu shots last year but, this year, 4 million were given. That gives them some indication of what our demand might be. I asked if she thought they would run out. She said she thinks they will be okay on the standard dose but those 65+ should come in early, because high dose is recommended for that age group and she says they anticipate a shortage of those.

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tvq1

Our pharmacist told us the same. We got our senior dose last week. Normally, we wait until mid October or so, but she told us that was risky--they are expecting a shortage.

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maifleur03

I had the high dose one on Tuesday. I was doing bloodwork and asked for it. When I was asking at the pharmacy about the shingles vax it was mentioned that they were busy last month but so far not this one. I hope they know that they did not receive the mixture for this winter.

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HamiltonGardener

Now I’m wondering if I should hold off with my flu shot. I understand the need for everyone to get vaccinated, but if we anticipate a shortage, perhaps it’s better to go to someone more high risk?

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maifleur03

HG I do not know about Canada but anyone over 65 or with medical conditions are considered to be high risk in the US. The ones in those two categories have a special high dose shot. There is a regular shot for others. You should get one or the other as soon as you can.

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HamiltonGardener

Well, I’m not over 65 or have medical conditions. Which is why I’m thinking that if there is a shortage, maybe they will take whatever shot, high dose or low dose, is available.

Currently I am not in contact with anyone in a high risk category because of Covid, so maybe I can wait until they get theirs first.

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terezosa / terriks

I've been told that it's best to wait until October for the flu shot so that it will last throughout the flu season. However, I'm not planning to be in public spaces without a mask on, so I suspect that my chances of getting the flu will be low this year.

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Ann

"I hope they know that they did not receive the mixture for this winter"

What do you mean by this, Mai?

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jmm1837

Well, there was a flu vax shortage here in Aus in the run up to our flu season but essentially the government wanted everyone to get the shot so that flu cases wouldn't overrun ERs at the same time that Covid did. We had to wait a couple of weeks to get our high dose shot, but get it we did. And from what I understand, flu numbers are way, way down (we're nearing the end of the season here). Vaccines, social distancing, washing hands, and lately, masks, have all contributed.

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maifleur03

Ann the shots for the 2020-2021 season were just released this week. Anything before that were for the last season. They provide some protection but different strains are added or removed each season. I wait until I see that the new season has been released. Then I ask if the shot is for the dosage. I could be lied to and have been before I started looking but at least I know enough now to wait until the release.

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Ann

HG, the lady seemed comfortable with the supply of regular dose vaccines. I would agree that those who warrant high dose might be given regular dose if and when high dose runs out - but it sounds like they know that and still feel good with the regular dose supply. I agree with Mai that getting one is always a good idea. Not unlike the reasoning around mask wearing and social distancing, I think the idea is for as many people who are willing - definitely get a flu shot early so people won't get the flu, won't end up spreading it and, most importantly, people won't end up with Covid and flu at the same time.

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HamiltonGardener

I see.

I assumed after reading the Australian jump from 600,000 to 4 million, that there would be a shortage of everything

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Iris GW

I agree with terriks: I'm out less often, wearing a mask when I do, and washing hands more so I feel my risk of getting the flu is quite reduced this year.

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Ann

Oh, I see Mai. Thanks. The place where I got one last year left a message on my phone saying the new ones were in and please "come on in". The message was just this morning. I typically procrastinate with flu shots (or sometimes even skip them) because I'm a chicken about shots, but not this year. I was headed in that direction for another reason and told myself - just do it and get it over with. I think it's especially important this year.

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Ann

HG, the woman's comments made me think Australia's use might have been used as a bit of a benchmark for countries facing the situation 6 months later. So, learning that maybe countries better be prepared with about 8 times the number from last year!

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youngquinn_gw

In Australia everyone who wanted one was able to get one. You might have had to wait a week or two...but it is important for everyone to get one. You dont want the double whammy of flu and covid at the one time which is what the medicos were afraid of. Yes our flu deaths are miniscule this year and we have almost no hospitalisations from flu also...which is great as it is freeing up beds for covid patients.

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elvis

Since the flu is supposedly less contagious than covid, and I'm protecting myself from covid, is there a point in getting the flu shot?

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maifleur03

Each years flu is different and there is no way right now to tell if this seasons is more or less contagious or more or less deadly. What is being said about the flue is that masks will lessen the contagion.

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elvis

"Flue" is in your chimney.

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maifleur03

Thank you elvis I corrected that. Although with the current furnace it vents out the side of the house not up the chimney.

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terezosa / terriks

Since the flu is supposedly less contagious than covid, and I'm protecting myself from covid, is there a point in getting the flu shot?

Possibly not, but better safe than sorry! I've had the flu when I was in my 20s or 30s (so long ago I can't remember), and it was awful. I felt like I had been run over by a truck.

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wildchild2x2

I have never taken a flu shot in my lifetime. I did have the flu at the end of 2017. Pretty bad but nothing that would kill me. With all the extra precautions we have to take I don't see the point either. In my 69 years I have managed to maybe have the flu 2 or 3 times. Maybe only twice since they used to call everything the flu. Heck some people still do. They get a bad cold or even an upset stomach and its the "flu" to them. SMH I have always practiced good hygiene and avoided things like buffets during flu season and I don't like crowded indoor places. So someone else can have my shot, senior or otherwise.

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Ann

I'm curious if those of you thinking you'll skip it this year typically skip it? I used to rarely get flu shots but I'm getting older and have thought it wise in recent years because of my age.

I'm a little surprised to read the comments as I expected flu shot interest would be really high this year and, reading here, it seems to be kind of low.

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Kathy

The vaccine this year is for 4 strains. It protects against 2 A strains that are serious and 2 Bs which are lesser non pandemic strains.


My daughter had H1N1 which is a type of A and she was extremely sick and had more complications as a result.


Scientists are saying it is more important this year to get a flu shot with Covid being a factor too.

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jmm1837

Flu is often followed by respiratory complications. I've had pneumonia a few times and that's a complication I don't need, especially when Covid is also flying around as well. Catching flu and then Covid would not be fun. I come down pretty strongly on the side of getting the shot this year, whatever age you might be.

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elvis

They get a bad cold or even an upset stomach and its the "flu" to them.

Right? There is no such thing as "the stomach flu". How many times has that excuse for a hangover been used by co-workers calling in sick?

Some years I get the flu shot, some years I don't. I had that horrible swine flu "vaccination" back in the day, and boy, was I sorry.

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Kathy

There was a fiasco in 1976 with the swine flu vaccine. I believe it was a rushed vaccine. Something to think about with rushing a Covid vaccine.


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maddie260

I had the REAL FLU once in my life; that was enough. It took me a month to recover, and my children were young. I had never been sick before a day in my life. I realized why so many elderly die from the flu. Get a flu shot!

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jmm1837

Actually, I had that '76 vaccine. There were some cases of Guillan Barre syndrome linked to it - not many, but enough to make it too risky. I seem to recall reading that those of us who got it had some degree of immunity to the 2009 version.

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Nana H

"here is no such thing as "the stomach flu".

Elvis, there is most definitely such a thing as the "stomach flu" and it's not fun. The official medical name is viral gastroenteritis but is commonly referred to as the stomach flu by laypersons and medical professionals alike. It is highly contagious and can be brutal.


https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/310481

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haydayhayday


How long is the flu shot good for?
"How long does immunity from influenza vaccine last?Protection from influenza vaccine is thought to persist for at least 6 months. Protection declines over time because of waning antibody levels and because of changes in circulating influenza viruses from year to year. For persons who require only 1 dose of influenza vaccine for the season, yearly vaccination (i.e. in July and August) is likely to be associated with suboptimal immunity before the end of the influenza season, particularly among older adults."


Ideally, wait until two weeks before you get infected.

With all the masks and people staying home, this should be a very low flu year than it might have been otherwise.

Strange second order effects: '

More Covid deaths but fewer Flu deaths.

"Excess Deaths" is a hot topic these days.

Hay



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terezosa / terriks

I agree with Elvis that there is no such thing as the stomach flu. I don't care what people call gastroenteritis. It's not caused by an influenza virus and I don't think that medical articles should be written that perpetuate the name "stomach flu," because it causes confusion. It's already bad enough that people ask their doctors for antibiotics when they have a cold. Doctors and medical professionals should not be conflating gastroenteritis or other stomach problems with influenza.

If people want an easy name for it call it a stomach bug, not flu.

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Ziemia(6a)

Agree, terezosa and elvis about "stomach flu".

Healthline is a media company similar to WebMD. Maybe a first stop to get info but not a heavyweight when it comes to medical knowledge. Flu is influenza. "Stomach flu" is not that.

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Nana H

I know it isn't the official name but it is the name extensively used when referring to viral gastroenteritis. I just picked that site because it came up first but there many, many sites referring to it by it's "popular name". When my daughter was diagnosed Boxing Day the doctor in emerg specifically referred to is as viral gastroenteritis, better known as the stomach flu.

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elvis

Although it's commonly called stomach flu, gastroenteritis isn't the same as influenza. Real flu (influenza) affects only your respiratory system — your nose, throat and lungs. Gastroenteritis, on the other hand, attacks your intestines

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/viral-gastroenteritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20378847

God help us all if we don't learn to stop using "common" misnomers. Developmentally disabled people used to be "commonly" referred to as "stupid, slow". Hearing impaired used to be referred to as "deaf mute". People who have lost the use of limbs were commonly called "cripples". You get the idea. Just a point that matters.


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Kathy

Trump still uses that language but that’s okay?

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steve2416

I read part of this thread and then got up and walked to the Ingles Grocery w/pharmacy half a mile down the main road from my house. The nurse agreed there could be a shortage so I got the vaccination and came back to finish reading and eat lunch.

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Kathy

Steve, you need an EASY! Button.

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Ann

Steve, that sounds kind of like me yesterday. Got the message from the pharmacy and just got it done that day. I don't like shots so it's nice for me to not have to think about it (and procrastinate because I'm a chicken about needles).

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texanjana(8)

We usually get ours in late September, but after speaking with my doctor and the pharmacist, we got it last weekend. Both suggested to get it earlier this year, and said it lasts about 6 months. Remember, it takes 2 weeks for it to kick in.

I have had the flu once in my life, and while I did not die I felt like I might. I have never been so sick, and I was 28 years old. I have gotten the shot every year since then.

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maifleur03

I am not going to look for it but yesterday in looking for the article about the flu vaccines being released this week I stumbled across something that quoted Medicare saying people should receive their flu shot as soon as possible. The important part was the statement that if medically necessary a second shot could be approved later this year. You may want to watch any email/mailing from your own insurance company if you do not have Medicare B for an official notification.

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vgkg Z-7 Va(Z-7)

All you people who are getting the shot now are the ones causing the shortage later...


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jmm1837

Sorry, but I don't agree with that. The flu shot is on a rolling production line. If the supply is exhausted this week, it will be replenished in a week or two. That's what happened in Aus - temporary shortages at worst. And remember, Australian manufacturers didn't have the advance notice northern hemisphere manufacturers have about the heightened demand linked to Covid.

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Ann

vgkg: "All you people who are getting the shot now are the ones causing the shortage later..."

Interesting comment and interesting perspective! Almost like some weird form of attempted vax shaming toward people who are actually choosing to follow very strong and IMO (likely sensible) medical recommendations. I've heard of no talk of shortages expected with the exception of high dose, at which point, the regular dose is still expected to be available and can be administered to both age groups. The docs, the pharmacies, online articles, the CDC and just about any source you can find are all thinking flu shots are especially wise this year and, as this thread discusses, people are being encouraged to get in ASAP and get it done. Flu and Covid together would present a challenging problem. I've not heard of anyone in the medical field suggesting people not get a shot now because a shortage might occur later.

My husband took my lead and got one today. Typically, it's the other way around because he is not a shot "chicken" like me and he always gets one. This is the earliest I've ever gotten one and I didn't used to even get one every year.

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elvis

I think vgkg's remark, while true, was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. You didn't notice the percussion section?

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Ann

Oh thanks Elvis. Sorry for my mistake vgkg!

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vgkg Z-7 Va(Z-7)

No problemo folks, yes the drum was the tip off.

As I understand it a flu shot will generate antibodies for about 6 months or so as it's efficacy drops over time. As for us, we will get our shots but wait until Nov to extend the coverage into next May. Being isolated now due to covid makes catching the regular flu less likely too so we'll take our chances early to extend our coverage longer.

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chisue

DH and I will get our flu shots mid-October, same as always.

We're both had the flu twice during our nearly 56 years of marriage. I remember my DM helping us when our DS was small, so that has to have been over 45 years ago. She didn't get it; neither did DS. DH and I were both sick with flu or weeks after Thanksgiving 2017 -- the 'run over by a truck' flu, where you just lie in bed until it's done with you...or you're 'done'. We'd had our shots in 2017; obviously not the necessary strain.

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elvis

Being isolated now due to covid makes catching the regular flu less likely too so we'll take our chances early to extend our coverage longer.

Sensible.

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vgkg Z-7 Va(Z-7)

We got our flu shots yesterday, it was the 65+ shot for seniors. Slight soreness in the shot zone but that should fade. Hopefully good for at least 6 months.

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sprtphntc7a

got mine 10/12...i get it every year.

i can relate to maddie360... i had it once about 15 years ago, had small children, it was so awful, i wanted to die... my whole body hurt, even my hair. could get no relief. took me about 3 -4 weeks to recover, i was in my 30's....

no thank you, i will get my shot every year!!

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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

I’ve never had flu. But, since the jabs are dished out free, I've accepted the offer this year.

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foodonastump

I got mine a few weeks ago, I was at CVS and they were promoting them hard. I was waiting for a prescription anyway. Thanks to Maifleur I knew to ask about the year, and they showed me the package with 20/21 on it.

Schools are bugging me for overdue physicals, so I’ll get the kids taken care of shortly.

Wife has surgery this week and can’t get the shot until after for some reason. She’s getting her COVID test as we speak. I assured her it’s “not that bad” but I’m sure she’ll come home all dramatic about it. Definitely not something I’d do more often than needed.

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foodonastump

Just when I was feeling half bad about my COVID test comment... I just knew hers had to be special!


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Nana H

FOAS , wishing her well with her surgery. She sounds like a hoot!

We have decided to stay up north rather than go to our place in the city and the wait times in our little pharmacy up here are a bit longer than I would like because we get the supper shot. Having said that our doctor advised us to put it off a bit, we had thought we would get it in mid October. Our appointment is Nov 4th.....maybe I need to rethink that....... yikes!

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maifleur03

I too wish her well. One of the reasons that they did not want her to have the flu shot right now is because it could mask any reaction that she might have to the surgery.

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