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Old 11-07-2016, 12:07 PM   #1
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Post 'Serial' flu shots may limit body's ability to fight virus in future: researchers

Rumours started making the rounds about this last year & there may be something to it:

***Every year, those who swear by the influenza vaccine eagerly get jabbed. Others vehemently maintain that flu shots are either useless or do more harm than good. The latter camp, however, may now have some additional ammunition.

Although doctors maintain that flu shots are life-savers that everyone should receive, some researchers are uncovering hints that "serial vaccination" -- that is, consistently receiving annual flu shots -- may in fact limit one's ability to fight the virus in the future.

Some researchers are uncovering hints that consistently receiving annual flu shots may in fact limit one's ability to fight the virus in the future.

"Nothing surprises me anymore with influenza," Dr. Danuta Skowronski, an epidemiologist at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, told CTV News. "It's such a changeable virus."

Although flu season typically starts in late November and peaks towards the end of December, influenza cases have already been reported across Canada, with spikes occurring over the past month in southern British Columbia, western Manitoba and southwestern Ontario though numbers remain low.

New evidence, however, is raising the spectre that the more influenza vaccinations you receive in your lifetime, the less protection you have from the virus in subsequent seasons.

Skowronski published a study earlier this year showing that people who were vaccinated consecutively in 2012, 2013 and 2014 appeared to have a higher risk of being infected with new strains of the flu.

"If we're seeing some signals of declining vaccine protection, we want to respond to that -- but we don't want to overreact," Skowronski cautiously says...***


More at link:


http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/serial-...hers-1.3147903
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Old 11-07-2016, 04:37 PM   #2
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Just my two cents here, but most people getting the yearly vax are among the elderly, or sick. Those are the groups on which the vax offers the smallest protection AFAIR from what I have read. Please correct me if I am wrong.
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Old 11-07-2016, 05:07 PM   #3
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You're pretty much right - in seniors especially, there's not that much of an immune system left. The shots add some protection but wear off sooner. I'd almost make the argument that if as a senior, (especially a SENIOR senior), you tolerate the shot well, you get one as early as they're offered, then another one as flu season starts trailing off. \It's not uncommon for a second wave to hit as flu season appears to be tailing off & often here, there are more complications as people are run down from being cooped up all winter.
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Old 11-07-2016, 05:23 PM   #4
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Even though I'm now officially considered to be immuno-compromised, my doctor actually told me he'd prefer that I not get a shot. His thinking is that with everything I have going on right now, my body is in such a highly inflammatory state that the shot may actually do more harm than good.

Of course, a couple of weeks after he said that, I got the flu. This area apparently had a spike in early cases and all the doctors and clinics were reporting a high number of patients with the flu. I don't know if anyone typed it or not, but I'm curious about which strain it was.

So now I guess I'm protected from at least one strain and I'm going to follow my doc's advice and not get the shot this year. I'll just take my chances that I don't end up getting it again from a different strain.
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Old 11-07-2016, 05:31 PM   #5
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I'll see what I can find for you in terms of strain. Up here, H3N2 is dominating... so far.

---------- Post added at 04:31 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:27 PM ----------

Yup - H3N2 most common in your area - region 4 in the weekly surveillancde report:

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/index.htm


As for me, I've got to check with our medical boffins about any reported issues with the flu shot this year. I swear to Gawd since I got it, I'm descending into narcolepsy.
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Old 11-07-2016, 06:11 PM   #6
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Thanks.

I've been meaning to check it but just hadn't gotten around to doing it. But I did just now and you're right, it's H3. And it does look like we've had a local spike with 3.6% lab confirmed cases. That percentage is much higher than other regions, which are reporting mostly 0-2%.

I think we all kind of forget how awful the flu can make you feel. So when you get it, you swear that you've never felt that bad before, even though you probably did the last time you had the flu. But even given that, I will say that I had a very rough couple of weeks. I felt kind of blah for a couple of days and then the next morning, when I woke up, I could've sworn that I'd been run over by a freight train. I went from blah to very sick in less than 24 hours. Over the next 7-10 days, my temp see-sawed between 96F to 102.2. And not being able to take any form of Tylenol, aspirin or other form of NSAID didn't help. Thank heavens for ice packs!

Most of the symptoms cleared up by the end of the 2nd week. But, it's just been over the past few days that I think I've finally gotten over the fatigue. I don't feel like I'm slogging my way through wet cement anymore.

Hopefully, I can avoid exposure to the other strains. One round of the flu per season is enough!
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Old 11-07-2016, 06:20 PM   #7
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How do you know which region you are?
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Old 11-07-2016, 06:23 PM   #8
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You're bang on with the freight train analogy & I've always hated how long one felt draggy after the acute phase was over.

I get the high death rates of times past. Can you imagine a small, frontier community when flu struck? When Mom & Dad were both crawling around simply trying to cope, who was pumping water, feeding the household livestock, prepping food, etc.

I've had a few bouts where simply getting to the bathroom & back, or getting a half glass of water were almost impossible tasks. I can't imagine having to do anything requiring strength, co-ordination or anything else.

In the "olden days" I can see how adults being down with flu could have easily have led to all manner of other deaths - especially among kids - burns from fires & boiling water, wandering out then freezing to death... not everybody had a neighbour who lives close enough to help out.
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Old 11-07-2016, 06:24 PM   #9
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If you go to the CDC Weekly Flu Surveillance site , you'll see a chart broken down by region. Right below the chart, the states comprising each Region are listed.

WV is in Region 3.
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Old 11-07-2016, 06:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadaSue View Post
You're bang on with the freight train analogy & I've always hated how long one felt draggy after the acute phase was over.

I get the high death rates of times past. Can you imagine a small, frontier community when flu struck? When Mom & Dad were both crawling around simply trying to cope, who was pumping water, feeding the household livestock, prepping food, etc.

I've had a few bouts where simply getting to the bathroom & back, or getting a half glass of water were almost impossible tasks. I can't imagine having to do anything requiring strength, co-ordination or anything else.

In the "olden days" I can see how adults being down with flu could have easily have led to all manner of other deaths - especially among kids - burns from fires & boiling water, wandering out then freezing to death... not everybody had a neighbour who lives close enough to help out.
For me, that freight train feeling is a pretty definitive symptom of the flu and differentiates it from other types of URI's. And the flu is a good illustration of what debilitating really means.

I agree with your thinking of what it must have been like in previous centuries. Especially in winter time, traditionally the peak season. Just cutting and/or getting in sufficient firewood, and getting water out of an icy well would be incredibly difficult. But parents are capable of doing extraordinary things when it comes to caring for their children. And kids grew up a whole lot faster back then than most do now.

Still, I'm very glad that I live in the 21st century - at least when it comes to medical issues.
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Old 11-07-2016, 09:24 PM   #11
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I saw this the other day, and immediately thought of healthcare workers. There's been a battle between workers' unions and our local hospital over a requirement for an annual flu shot for years now.
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Old 11-07-2016, 09:42 PM   #12
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It's an ongoing battle & doesn't seem close to being settled. The only reason I bother getting one these days is my Thursday client who is 86, has COPD & cardiac issues. My Thursday morning bus ride, now that the weather has forced me off the bike & on the bus, is full of students going to 2 different colleges, a bunch of young moms taking kids to daycare & my transfer bus has workers heading to a call center... easily 100 different exposures within 30 minutes.

Nevertheless, I ay skip the shot next year unless the circulating strains really change - they haven't changed the vax formulations from last year's... but I figured I had enough going on this fall/winter without risking flu.
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Old 11-08-2016, 12:26 AM   #13
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I give permission for Dad to have one yearly in the nursing home. Given he weighs in the 120s, at 5'10", he would likely die with the flu. COPD and emphysema.

I only get it the years we will be going on a trip during the winter, so I'm not sick travelling.
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Old 11-10-2016, 03:08 PM   #14
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When you get infected with an immunologically novel strain (H1N1) you don't care.
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