Thursday, September 24, 2015

What about this year's flu shot?

Not a big horse needle like this.
Some years, I get a flu shot, other years not. My own doctor had a fight with his wife over whether to get them.

I probably will not this year because I have no transportation anyplace anymore--have not been out for eight months.

And it seems pretty often, the strains of flu in the shot don't match what turns up and the protection--never total--is sketchy. (I also had two pneumonia shots and got it.)

A primary care physician at Penn State Hershey Medical Group, Jay Zimmermann, MD, says it looks like the choice of strains this year is good, but the shot may offer protection no matter what strains are in it.

It could make the flu less horrible if you do get it.

The vaccine causes you to generate antibodies--if they are the same ones as the strain you are exposed to, the body responds more quickly and vigorously.

But you will still get antibodies without a strain match--and more if you get the shot every year.

As for whether the vaccine "makes" you get the flu--Zimmermann says you are more likely to get it from someone in his waiting room than the shot.

The injection form is a dead virus--recommended for people 6 mos and up. The nasal mist form is a weakened virus--not for people with immunity issues.

Over age 50, people are told to get a superduper strong shot. I have all sorts of medication issues, and I have had this strong one without incident, but it makes me nervous.

Also I heard that right now they may be injecting last year's--not sure on that one--ask!

So it's up to you... I probably jinxed myself just writing this. By the way, would you take medical advice from a person who believes in jinxes?

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