One “Flu” Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

syringeI don’t know about you, but I have never been a proponent of the annual flu vaccine. I have always felt that it was really only necessary for the very young and the very old/infirm. But I also know that influenza became pandemic on a faily predictable schedule about once every 30 years or so. And since it has been nearly 40 years since the last pandemic of “Hong Kong” Flu killed 1 million people in 1968-69, I am thinking this year, I ought to at least get my 4 year old innoculated. So I called my pediatrician and they said, “No we don’t have any H1N1 vaccine and no we don’t have any info on when any will be available”. Shocking!     Here is a chart showing the last 4 flu pandemics and the death tolls each exacted on the world. pandemic-chart
Hilleman M (Aug 19 2002). “Realities and enigmas of human viral influenza: pathogenesis, epidemiology and control”.
With the outbreak of Swine Flu occuring last year, I cannot understand why it has taken so long for the vaccine to be produced and distributed.  Have any of you had problems finding vaccine?  Share your experiences in the comments bel0w.

17 Responses to “One “Flu” Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”

  1. Claudia Hoeppner (Pinki)

    Like you I am not a real supporter of flu vaccines. I have no young children but I do have parents who are in their 80’s. Our family has never received a flu vaccine and really do not plan on starting. We are advocates of a good immune system through our diet and vitamins. Neither of my parents are on any kind of medications so I think their healthy life style has given them the immunity they need.
    I realize there are many people out there who believe in the vaccines….that is their choice. I feel however, when the President of the United States declares “panic” he should have a supply of the vaccine available to ALL Americans who want it.


    • I believe in vaccines for things like small pox and polio. But flu mutates to frequently requiring repeated innoculation. Keeping your immune system strong is definitely key. Diet is a big part of that. The kids in my child’s preschool class who are often sick are the ones who eat lots of junk food. Our son eats good, wholesome, home-cooked foods and rarely if ever gets sick. Agree the government should have had enough Swine Flu on hand before declaring emergency. Thanks for commenting!

    • Shawn GoodKnight

      I am a school nurse, I myself have not ever taken the flu shot until last year. I had my entire family take the flu shot. We were all sick all winter long. We took a family vote this year and decided to forgo taking the seasonal or the novel H1N1. I feel the H1N1 was rushed to fast in production. I do not want to be a commerical in a few years saying “if you took the H1N1 vaccine and are experiencing X,Y,Z symptoms you may have a lawsuit.” I have always been a trusting person of our government, but not anymore. I find myself being suspecious of anything the government says is OK. The choice to take or not to take the seasonal flu shot or the H1N1 lies completely on each individual. I feel we are flipping the coin either way we choose. We have seen several cases in our community, but fortunately we have not had any loss of life. Be smart, watch for signs of problems if you or your child is sick and get them to the doctor or Emergency Room as soon as possible.

      • Marsha Vejar

        I have never gotten a flu shot. Of course I hear on the news how the supply is in high demand, and that doctor offices are running out of the vaccine quickly. However, I have always thought, why get a shot with the live virus, then you will get sick. Plus I don’t care for needles, but who does? I did get my children the flu shot. But it was not for the H1N1. I tell my children to wash their hands as soon as they come inside, from playing outside, or school, or a friends house. I also spray Lysol on door knobs, telephones, remotes, and anything that we touch on a daily bases. I do agree on a comment that was made earlier, if the government is going to make all of us panic over this H1N1, then there needs to be enough vaccine for all of us.
        Thank you, Marsha

    • MarquitaNelson

      I would like to say that my family always gets the flu shot and I haven’t
      had the flu shot since I was old enough to say that I don’t want it. Every time I would get the flu shot I would always get sick. Now I never get the flue shot and I never get sick so I don’t feel like you have to have the flue shot unless there is a pandemic.

  2. I have never recieved a flu shot or have never been to worried about ever getting one. Although I must say I am real worried about this Swine flu. I have a 9 year old son who is of course in school and a 2 year old daughter who thankfully stays home with me. It’s bad enough I am frantic about one child in school allday and ask him everyday when he comes home how many times did he wash his hands and for how long. I am not in panic mode yet but I am worried about this. The “available” shot has me wanting it, but waiting for it?!? Not a comforting feeling at all.

  3. Michele Hall

    I can understand your concerns and believe that you are absolutely right by wanting for your shot.
    My belief has always been if you never have the flu do not get the flu shot.The most important people are the Old and Young, so I will pass, so that the others can get their shot and save a life. I watched the special yesterday on the swine flu vaccine and how it is made from start to finish it was very interesting to me. It was very interesting, they actually grow the virus in an egg and then it has to incubate for a certain period of time. They get the eggs from an egg farm which they would tell the location, but it is close by the New Jersey plant.
    I have never received the regular flu shot either, soon when and if I get the flu it is very mild anyway. Good Luck to you and your family!

  4. Lori Boyer

    I believe that this another way to scare the American people to do what the government wants – to keep us in fear.

    I have only received one flu shot in my entire 47 years of life, and was so sick after receiving the flu shot that I decided I would never get another flu shot. I haven’t and this new flu shot is no different.

    There are ways that we can protect ourselves each and every day which includes eating healthy, drinking plenty of water and exercising. In addition to washing your hands after toileting and after sneezing or blowing your nose. I believe that with these activities that are done on a daily basis will help alleviate the chances of getting the flu.

    To date, I have not heard of anyone that wanted the H1N1 shot not being able to get it. I guess it is possible in certain parts of the United States and do agree that if President Obama is “scaring” people then there should be enough to give those to those who want it.

    I will take my chances and continue to do the things I do everyday and pray that I will get through the season with only a slight cold and nothing more.

    Good luck to everyone and I hope that everyone stays well and healthy!!!

    • Ed Honiker

      Well, guys, ya know, government intervention is a touchy subject, and public support is truly running about 50-50, which is about right considering the last 4 presidential elections. I was born and raised a republican, which made me very suspicious of any govenment plan such as a public option to private care. However, as a currently unemployed 55 year old, I have softened my view on the issue considerably, possibly for selfish reasons. More government involvement will undoubtedly mean more jobs, and I want more than anything else to return to work! It is a valid issue warranting concern, and I’m not sure the rush to appropriate a bill will satisfy the situation, but it will certainly be a starting point and allow room for new ideas and growth. It’s not good when we can send billions of dollars overseas and not take care of our own people.

  5. Susan Evans

    I have also never had a flu shot and will probably not start now. If you look at the statistics, you will notice that the number of deaths dropped dramatically. It’s horrible to lose someone you love to such a disease, but by having the knowledge we now have about sanitary conditions, eating healthy, getting proper exercise, and advances in medical technology, I think that the numbers will not ever be as great as they have been in the past. Because air travel makes the spread of disease so easy, we will always have pandemics.

  6. Madeline Manor

    I too, have never had a flu shot. My daughter attends a college and she also hasn’t had a flu shot. I believe the more you put into your body, medicines, preventives, etc. the more you are going to need these things. Years ago I was told I had bronchitis and emphysema. I was given an inhaler, I never used it and feel if I had I still would be using it today. Eat right, keep your furance setting on no more than 68, that is still high to me, (heat makes germs thrive) and don’t baby yourself, so much. People need to toughen themselves up, and they won’t get sick so often. All this does in my opinion, is makes people immune system weak, and that is how they get sick all the time.

    Madeline Manor

  7. Paulette Allwood

    I have taken the flu shot twice with no adverse effects. I was not born and raised in this country so my body has to adjust the seasonal changes. I came from having 90 plus degree weather all year round, so as a precaution I took the shots. I will forgo it this year to see if my body has developed its own defense mechanism.
    I do not think I will get the shot for the swine flu as I do not fall in the high risk group of persons. I really would not say it is a scare tactics being used by the government however. The swine flu is real and people have been adversely affected by it, to the point of losing loved ones. It is even affecting pets.
    People should get themselves informed about the vaccine and not rush to judgment or just to follow the trend of people not taking it. Personal hygiene and eating well are good mechanism to help us fight this but there are those of us who cannot control our environment and should use wisdom when making our choices.
    Over the years vaccines have been used quite effectively to combat contagious diseases and this willbe no different. I guess time will tell.

  8. Michael Cafua

    The H1N1 shot has parents panicking that there will not be enough for every child or person in the country, and as a parent myself I am worried about the H1N1 flu and the H1N1 vaccine. I don’t want my children’s to get the H1N1 flu, but I am worried that the H1N1 vaccine is too new and we don’t know if there are any side effects. There have been a few reports of the H1N1 flue cases with one death so far here in Massachusetts, but I have not heard of any negative information regarding the H1N1 vaccine.

  9. Laura Jones

    I was given a flu vaccine last year because I was headed into surgery and the doctor thought it was the best idea. Before that, I had never been vaccinated for any flu virus. I believe that this newest “epidemic” is really not as bad as what we have faced in the past. If you look at the chart above, you can clearly see that this time around, the H1N1 isn’t as bad as it was in the past. We have the ability to fight this flu. Several people I know have had it and it only lasted 4 days. I think the best action to take is one that you would take for any flu season. I too am afraid of the vaccine because it had not been used before and I don’t want to be one of the unlucky receipents that ends up with some horrible ramification from taking the vaccine. Be smart and don’t let the “epidemic” mind-set deter you.

  10. Tremone Smith

    I can say that I have been very fortunate. I have never had the flu, or taken the flu shot. I rarely get sick. My daughter is the same. She hasn’t gotten the flu vaccine either. I’m not going to get the H1N1 shot for either of us, because I don’t know too much about the side effects.

    As a sidebar, my cousin and her son have allergies, and are prone to other illnesses because of it. They get the regular flu shot every year. This year, her pediatrician was insisting on her giving her son the H1N1 shot. So she asked him if he was going to allow his own children to get it. His answer was no, because of the reason I stated previously. So she advised him that she won’t let her son get the H1N1 vaccine until he thinks it’s ok for his own children. I think that’s quite fair.

    To my knowledge, my daughter’s school hasn’t had any confirmed H1N1 diagnoses, so I’m just going to play it by ear, and wait for my cousin to let me know what her son’s pediatrician is doing with his kids.

  11. Alma Pacheco

    I agree if you are relatively healthy the flu shot is not necessary. If you have health complications or you are of certain age that may make you susceptible to the flu then you should probably get it. I heard in the news that top corporations like Goldman Sachs got the H1N1 vaccine before health care facilities. I don’t know if its true and if so what is the reason behind it. It really makes you think who is regulating this. This is just part of the reason that I am not giving it to my kids. You have to make an educated decision about it, but no one is right or wrong. You just need to make a decision that works for your family, a choice that you can live with. I can live with mine.

  12. Jane Fenton

    I am a single mother of three grown children, ages 18, 20, and 21. Neither myself or my children have ever had any flu vaccine. I feel if we get the flu, that is time enough to deal with it. I do believe in the vaccinations against measles, mumps, chicken pox, etc… Although, I am not convinced that even these vaccines come without risk.

    I am not really sure what all the hype is about with the H1N1, but I think there is more going on than meets the eye. I chose not to share my skepticism publicly.

    I will share that my aunt was just taken from us today. Not directly with the swine flu, but indirectly related to the swine flu. She had surgery on Wednesday to repair damage being done to her nerves from complications with the spinal cord. She came through surgery fine and was recovering in the hospital. She was pronounced dead today. In short, she died after being declared totally brain dead due to the lack of oxygen to her brain. She was found unresponsive in her room while a nurse was going in at the request of another patient sharing the same room. How does this relate to the H1N1 you ask; My uncle wanted to stay with his wife in the hospital that night, but because of the H1N1 they would not allow him to stay in the hospital. Had he been there, it’s very easy to believe this never would have happened. When his wife started chocking he would have called for help and therefore she never would have went without oxygen so long that she became brain dead. Food for thought………

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