Will You Get a Flu Vaccine This Year?

| 9/11/2009 9:58:59 AM

Flu Shot 

We recently asked our readers (you) whether they would be getting a flu vaccine this year, either for H1N1 (swine flu) or seasonal flu. Given the large — 924 votes! — and interesting response, we wanted to know a bit more. For reference, let’s start with the poll and results:

Q. Are you going to get a flu shot this year? 

  1. No, I never do. 56% (516 votes)
  2. No, I’m worried about the side effects of vaccines. 16% (152 votes)
  3. Yes, I do every year. 18% (164 votes)
  4. Yes, I’m specifically getting the shot for swine flu (H1N1). 6% (54 votes)
  5. Yes, a seasonal flu shot, but not a swine flu shot. 4% (38 votes)

Total votes: 924

For starters, more than half of you won’t be getting a flu shot this year (which seems to match an informal poll taken around the MOTHER EARTH NEWS office). Of the 28 percent that are getting flu shots, only 6 percent plan to get the H1N1 vaccine. However, we first asked this poll two weeks ago, and in that time H1N1 has renewed it’s appearance in the media as cases are being reported around the United States, particularly, it seems, in university settings. It will be interesting to see, as flu season heats up, how these numbers shift — or don’t.

Personally, I'm not getting a flu shot (I never have), though that’s my personal decision, and not in any way a recommendation. I will be extra diligent about frequent hand washing and enjoying herbal teas (ginger, echinacea) and elderberry supplement drops. I’ll also be sure to up my veggie and fruit intake and keep the “junk” snacks to a minimum. And I will detour off the all-natural path to do a twice daily Listerine rinse. My dad swears by it. (Have you ever seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Remember the bride’s father and his faith in Windex? This will give you an idea of my dad’s feelings about Listerine. Though in all fairness, I have yet to see him actually spray it on anyone.)

bernadette adkins
4/18/2012 11:50:51 PM

I never get the flu shot - as an otherwise healthy person I don't feel it is necessary. Besides that - there are thousands of flu viruses out there and the CDC tries to make its best guess as to which ones will be most prevalent in the coming year. Generally, there are only about 3 virus strains included in the flu shot. So just because you get a shot doesn't mean you won't get the flu. And the last several years the CDC has been wrong in there guessing consequently all of those people who paid money to get a flu shot were no more protected than those who opted out. Don't get me wrong - those individuals in high risk categories need all the protection they can get and should consider getting the vaccine but for otherwise normal healthy persons I don't believe it is necessary. The single most effective way to prevent the spread of infection is hand washing. Oh yeah, and move to the country where there is abundant fresh air and people don't live on top of each other. Since we've moved away from a large city to a very rural area - going on 4 years now - I cannot remember the last time any one in my family got anything other than a simple stuffy nose.

9/25/2009 12:54:21 PM

Last February, I got the flu... and then I got "walking pneumonia." I don't suppose most of you know what that feels like. Here's my story. I woke up one morning fairly delirious and decided to get myself some Tylenol. I was in a bad way. I ended up PASSING OUT in front of my two-year-old daughter while trying to walk to the bathroom. I don't know how long it took to reawaken, but when I did- my daughter was standing over me shaking my arm and looking worried. I then crawled to the bathroom to get the thermometer: my fever had reached 104.6. About 30 minutes (and some Tylenol) later, after I had called someone else to come take care of my daughter so I could go to the hospital, my fever broke and went down to 102. My friend still took my daughter so I could recover. I decided not to go to the ER. The next day, I passed out while taking a hot shower. I decided to go to my doctor ASAP. He prescribed me antibiotics. I HATE ANTIBIOTICS! They make you feel miserable. But after a couple days on them, I have to admit- the pneumonia had subsided and I felt MUCH better. My daughter, who also got the flu, developed an ear infection. She had a fever for over 10 days. She was put on antibiotics too, against my better jugment, and ended up being allergic to penicillin. She broke out in a rash over her entire body. Thank God she's not allergic to Keflex. NEVER AGAIN! Now, as far as either getting a flu shot and having the 6.6 out of 1 million chance of a bad reaction, or getting the flu and having the 10% chance of getting pneumonia or a secondary bacterial infection and being almost hospitalized and having to take antibiotics and having a 15% chance of having a bad reaction from those? YOU BET YOUR ASS I'M GETTING THE SHOT! The side effects of antibiotics are WAY worse than the side effects of the shot. Just think about THAT. My daughter's getting a flu shot this weekend too. As for the H1N1 vaccine? I don't know yet- we

9/24/2009 11:51:29 PM

The Science Behind Vaccines How our bodies respond when we attempt to artificially create immunity could have more of an impact than you think. Just exactly what that 'junk' is includes live or attenuated of the virus, which require preservatives to prevent spoilage, and an adjuvant, which excites the immune response to the vaccine. Some common vaccine ingredients presently include: Formaldehyde Aluminum hydroxide (adjuvant) Aluminum phosphate Thimerosal (mercury) Polysorbate-80 Gelatin Ammonium sulfate Sucrose Monosodium glutamate (MSG) Aspartame Phenol (obtained from distillation of coal tar

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